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 Post subject: Queen of Hearts
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:58 pm 

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"A full suit of armor takes less time than this.."

"Yes Sire, and your valiance is noteworthy in both cases."

The young King lifted an eyebrow and his eyes met with kind old blue ones. Both men laughed. In the quiet dressing room stood Motto of Gilthlore, the massive Western nation of Aughtnia. He was 27, the age of his coronation and wedlock to Faldothia. The handsome ruler sighed and rested his hand on the servant's shoulder. "Give me a legion of men to fight Hector, a stampede of beasts. Anything but marrying." Motto moved to the window and gazed out; his expression was one of annoyance. Hector hadn't seen his Lord behave this way before and knew not whether to laugh or to comfort the youth.

"There could be worse things Sire....she might be hideous."

"She might as well be." Motto retorted while maintaining his scowl. "Ugh. To be burdened with a damned woman! I haven't the time or desire to ensure she knows her place, yet I must do so at the onset. It the same with hunting dogs, Hector. They require devotion. How am I to establish the unity of two kingdoms while training some brat?"

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:45 pm 
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Genevieve couldn't help but fan herself as the carriage she sat in rolled along the dirt road. It wasn't particularly hot out, but in the closed carriage, the air was stifling. "I heard he's handsome!" One of her lady's maids giggled while talking to the other. Genevieve simply rolled her eyes and drew back the curtain with one slim finger, eyeing the scenery. It was a beautiful landscape: green, rolling hills, wildflowers amongst the underbrush of tall evergreen trees. It almost reminded her of home, except Faldothia was flatter. The greenery was still there, just everything was more level. To be honest, she didn't enjoy traveling over these blasted hills. They were making her feel ill.

"Well, I heard he's an old man." The other maid said as she plucked at her skirts. 27 was hardly old, but Genevieve herself was 6 years his junior. At 21 she had successfully managed to evade marriage for 5 years simply by being unagreeable. She had had plenty of suitors, her father had ensured that, but every one of them called her strong willed: utterly incapable of learning her place as a damure wife and mothe- To the chagrin of her father. Genevieve didn't care. She was brought up to be a ruler, not an ornament for some man's arm.

Brought from her thoughts by the gasp of one of her maids, Genevieve turned her attention to the large window that sat just above their seats. Within the frame, a looming, stone castle came into view. From a military standpoint it looked solid, but architecturally it was beautiful. It was a shame she would have to leave, but Genevieve would enjoy the scenery while she was here. Shifting as the carriage rolled to a stop, Genevieve waited for the coachman to open her door: first helping her maids out, and then herself. Genevieve couldn't help but squint in the sunlight, her large seafoam green eyes narrowing as she brought a slim hand up to shield them from the glare. "My Lady." One of her maids, Mildred, handed her a black sun umbrella. Her mother lamented at her choice of black to meet her future husband, but Genevieve didn't care. She would make very clear how she felt about this marriage.

Mildred blonde head bobbed as she gave a deep curtsey, her other maid, Lavern, copying as Genevieve strode for the entrance, her own long, pale curls shifting behind her. Well.. Genevieve thought to herself. Let'sget this over with.

Inside, Genevieve was the embodiment of a polite noble lady. She smiled to the servants who helped gather her things and followed the manservant who showed her to her rooms, which were a lovely shade of blue. She commented on how pleased she was with the arrangement and the manservant blushed, speaking of how he would send the compliment to the king. "Oh, yes. The king." Genevieve looked out the large bay windows that showed a particularly beautiful green hillside. "When am I going to meet my husband to be?"

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:10 pm 

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“This evening’s supper, My Lady.” The manservant stood erect with his hands clasped behind his back. “His Majesty would have a private meal with Her Ladyship once she is rested. Until then the castle is yours to examine, My Lady.” A soft knock came from the Lady’s chamber door. “Ah yes. Your servant is here.” If Genevieve permitted it, the doors would open to reveal an older woman in crisp attire. She was sturdy yet noble in appearance, with a motherly air and a heavy accent. “Tis’ an honor Me Lady. The gardens here are quite lovely with all the butterflies and that. King Motto has a rather extensive collection you might say.”

“Elenore is to serve Your Ladyship until the Wedding.” With a polite bow, the manservant would wait for his dismissal as well as Elenore should Genevieve choose so.

Meanwhile, the young King brooded in his study; he’d gotten into his royal finery and now had to sit in it until supper. “It certainly took them long enough to get here..” He sighed, tugging at his coat. “I’d send for her now and be done with it if wasn’t such an impropriety.” Growling with agitation, he pushed aside the papers he was supposed to be looking over. How was he supposed to think when his bride-to-be was probably ordering her chamber painted black to match that blasted parasol of hers? It was a poor way to greet her new Kingdom to be sure. Lady Genevieve had already made a fool of him and she hadn’t even been presented to him yet! “Hector.. ready my horse. I shall have a ride.” ‘and clear my mind of this nonsense.’


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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:05 am 
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Turning to examine her newest servant, Genevieve nodded in approval. She was an older woman who looked like she knew what she was about. Yes, she would do nicely in helping Genevieve acclimate to her new home. Genevieve smiled and dismissed the manservent before stepping across the room to the large, four poster bed. She wondered if the King had decorated the room himself. Next to the bed was a dark mahogany vanity, the glass of a very high quality and the table top looked to be of white marble. Genevieve sat upon the chair and took her hat off her head before shaking her curls.

"Elenore." Genevieve turned in her chair to face the woman. "I think I should like to rest a moment while my things are brought up." The older woman gave a slight nod as Genevieve continued. "After everything is in its place, could you pick something out for me to wear? I'm afraid my clothes are simply covered with dust from the travel." Her clothes were in fact not covered with dust, but Genevieve felt like Elenore was the kind of woman who enjoyed being in charge.

"If you would like to lie down, Me Lady, we can get you in a robe so as not to get your linens dirty." Elenore heavily suggested. Genevieve nodded and hid a yawn behind her hand as she stood, allowing Elenore to begin undoing the back of her dress after calling for a robe from one of the other servants bringing bags from downstairs.

"Oh!" Genevieve proclaimed, causing Elenore to jump. "I must introduce you to my own Lady's maids. I leave them under your charge." Genevieve pointed to the pretty blonde as she entered the room. "This is Mildred, and Lavern should be..oh yes, here she is." Lavern's red curls and freckles were easy to spot as she rounded the corner holding a tray with moist towels and tea.

"Here you are, My Lady." Lavern set it upon the vanity before handing Genevieve a towel to wipe her hands and face with. "His Majesty has had some dresses commissioned for you. Would you like to wear one to dinner tonight?" Elenore asked as she slipped the robe over Genevieve's shoulders. It was a beautiful thing made of silk with flowers embroidered along the cuffs and lapel.

"No." Genevieve thought as she pursed her lips. Thinking that's what he would want, naturally Genevieve would do the opposite. "Have them brought to my rooms, but keep them separate from my own gowns. I should like to use them when I get to know him better. As a surprise." Of course, Genevieve had no intention of wearing what he had bought her. She didn't plan on staying long enough. Elenore frowned, but nodded and left Lavern to comb Genevieve's hair while she went to see Genevieve's request done.

Upon returning, Elenore pulled a blue velvet gown from amongst Genevieve's dresses. It had silver embroidered vines along her bodice and sleeves with a few trailing down her waist and skirts. It was rather fetching and one of Genevieve's favorites. Now clean, dressed, and rested Genevieve followed Elenore to the gardens and only half listened as the older woman told her of the history of the place and it's rulers. The architecture was absolutely gorgeous. Hallways were full of tall, sculpted columns and draped in fine silks and linens. As she past, servants curtsied or bowed before continuing with their duties. They seemed happy, which was a good sign. It meant that the King was kind to his servants.

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:12 pm 

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Galloping through the forest, Motto’s mind filled with memories of his father and mother. The late King and Queen were very happy and tender..he missed them more than ever lately. Until now, he enjoyed his rule alone and did well as a young King.

“Your people look to you, Sire. Gilthlore needs to see their King marry. Their hearts are still wounded by the loss. What is to become of the Kingdom without any heirs?”

His advisors had been pleading with him for five years, and Motto could no longer argue with them. It was his duty as King. Letting his advisors make the careful selection, Motto removed his own feelings from the arrangement and was happy. Until now. The raven-haired monarch urged his steed to go faster and wished his troubled heart would be left behind.

He would do his best to give Gilthlore a lovely Queen. As for the strange ache in his chest, that would have to be ignored until it went away. If Lady Genevieve resented the wedlock, so be it. Her hair was lovely..he’d caught a glimpse from where he watched the Lady descend from her carriage. Motto had never seen hair like that..

“DAH!”

His moment of distraction cost the King dearly, his horse had leapt over a fallen tree and Motto failed to duck to lower limbs of a large tree. The sudden collision was a painful one, and he came down onto the fallen tree with a crack. The guilt-ridden steed peered at Motto from where it stopped and turned.

“I’m fine, Fang. Come on boy.”

The horse whinnied a refusal.

“Now. I’m not in the mood for your games.”

Another negative reply.

“That’s it. Now you’ve done it.” Motto got to his feet and glared. “GET. OVER. HERE.”

This elicited a frightened noise and the King’s quirky steed cantered back towards to royal stables.

“WHY YOU…!!” Motto broke into a run and gave chase. He was fit and moved through the vegetation with remarkable skill; dashing through thick bramble and through a particularly slick muddy brook. Finally he staggered to a stop and stood panting just outside the castle gardens.

“Oi. Gardener! Better clear out of here with the likes of you, the King’s Bride is coming. Shoo. Tsk tsk a right mess you are. Shameful.” One of the maids looked Motto up and down with disgust. He was covered in spatter and thoroughly disheveled.

"The King's Bride, you say?"


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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:19 pm 
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The gardens were just as lovely as the castle. Tall walls of greenery were sheered to perfect angles, flowers were well kept in beds of Stone along the walkways that wound between flowering trees and shrubs. Genevieve breathed deep, taking in the floral fragrance. His servants certainly took pride in their work, which was also a good sign. Genevieve enjoyed watching lazy bumblebees float from bud to bud and a multitude of various butterflies drifted back and forth. Yes, she would very much enjoy her time here in the gardens.

Hands gasped before her, Genevieve kept a slow, but steady pace with Elenore. The older woman was speaking of an ancient war that had threatened to bring the castle down: the one and only time, she was sure to mention, but it had been a defining moment for both Monarchy and kingdom. As fascinating as Genevieve was in the history of this place, she was curious about something. "Elenore?" The older woman paused her history lesson to hear Genevieve's questions. "Where are the servants? Surely a garden of this magnitude requires around the clock care."

"You...would be correct." Elenore spoke cautiously, as if suspecting some kind of trick question. "They've left the gardens so you can enjoy them in peace." Eyeing Genevieve from the corner of her eyes, having her reaction, Elenore visibly relaxed as Genevieve nodded.

"In the future," Genevieve spoke up. "I don't mind sharing. Servants are vital to the upkeep of castles and gardens and it won't do to have me getting in the way of their duties. Besides," Genevieve continued while nodding to a gardener and maid speaking to each other across the way. "How am I to show appreciation if I never see anyone?"

"You make a very good point, My Lady."

"Please, call me Nevi. But only if you're comfortable being so informal." Genevieve quickly added as she saw Elenore stiffen. Perhaps it wasn't the best thing to say, but it was a habit from back home. All her personal servants called her Nevi in private. She had never thought to consider it would be different here.

"So.." Genevieve cleared her throat to change the subject. "How many suitors has the King had before myself?" Perhaps it was improper to ask, but Genevieve had to know what kind of man she was dealing with.

"None, My Lady." "None?!" Genevieve was shocked. Surely he must have had a few by now. "His Majesty has spent his years ruling his kingdom and never felt the need for a wife." It made sense. His kingdom was extensive and, from her father's reports, growing yearly. It had been one of the reasons he had offered her, to protect Faldothia's borders. By all accounts, Motto would be easy to handle. He had never courted, so perhaps she could use his inexperience against him? Of course, he had also evaded marriage almost as long as she had.

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:23 pm 

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“You’re right. She is far too beautiful for me to gaze upon.” Motto bowed low to the maid. “But I shall do so regardless.” He straightened with a wide, mischievous grin and strode toward the noblewomen who seemed to be conversing.

“How dare you! The King will hear of this!” More terrified than offended, the servant went to block Motto’s path. Surely the filthy imp would disgrace all of Gilthlore with that fiendish temperament! Motto managed a feint and moved around the maid but she was nimble and took hold of his sleeve. “Stop or I will ring your disgusting little neck--OH MY!” She recognized him. “King Motto!” The poor maid went to her knees with her face in her hands and doubled over. Genevieve and all of her attendants as well as several nearby guards, a dozen servants that happened to be within earshot of the castle’s windows, and Fang who had been nibbling at a patch of sweet herbs from his hiding place in the garden had all heard.

It was Elenore that reacted first. “My Lord.” She curtseyed very low along with all of the other servants. Motto was on one knee comforting the distressed maid for a moment, his words only discernible to her before rising to stand tall before his future wife and her attendants.

Image

“My Lady. How do you find Gilthlore?” He lifted his chin a bit higher as if it might nullify his tarnished appearance. The King’s mind was a cacophony of noise; he had decided it would be imprudent to skulk away from Her Ladyship simply because of his less than tidy state, and that it would look weak to apologize for it. This was his castle, dammit.

And she was breathtaking.

Throughout his life Motto had seen a few rare beauties in the court as well as far away kingdoms, but none of them compared to Lady Genevieve. Her features were exquisite enough to confound him, and if it was one thing Motto hated, it was being confounded. He kept the chaos in check and stood waiting for Her Ladyship’s answer. This wasn’t at all how he was supposed to meet her, and Motto privately wondered at himself for the unfavorable choice he’d made.

To hell with it, he was King and he could do as he liked.


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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:19 pm 
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Just as everyone else, Genevieve's attention was drawn to the gardener and maid's conversation when the maid made a bit of a commotion. King?! This man covered in mud was the King? Yes...Genevieve could see it now. His finery had been hidden in the mud. No gardener would wear such clothes to work in. No gardener would wear such clothes to begin with! Genevieve was pulled from her shock when Elenore curtsied deep, addressing the king.

As the mud caked, but still regal, man approached, Genevieve gave her own curtsy and soft "My Lord." Behind the mud, he was handsome, there was no doubt about that. In his current disheveled state he looked very rugged. No amount of dirt could diminish his obvious authority. He was a king, regardless of what he wore, or the state he was in.

"Gilthlore is a very beautiful country." Genevieve spoke in reply to his question. "Your people seem happy to be here and to serve you." Honestly, Genevieve was unsure what to say to the man. First appearances, he was a proud, but reasonable man. She would need to get to know his weaknesses if she were to exploit them and have him end this...arrangement. Where was she to go from here? This was a less than agreeable situation at the moment and most definitely an improper way to meet one's future spouse. She was trained to be a Queen. She could handle awkward situations such as this.

"You seem to have been in some kind of accident." Genevieve stated as she acknowledged his dirty clothes and what might be a bump forming on the top of his head. "Do you need to see someone?" Half turning back towards the castle, Genevieve motioned with one of her hands. "I could accompany you, if you'd like?"

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:56 pm 

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Her voice had a pleasing tone, and the Lady spoke well. Very much to his liking in fact. Right away, Motto was assured that he had one less thing to worry about in training the damsel for Queenliness. Her sentiments were pleasant and authentic despite the uncouth encounter. Everything was splendid. Until she offered to accompany him. The King hadn’t been expecting that and wavered a little before giving his answer.

“I must refuse, My Lady. It would not do for you to get dirty and I insist you take my arm at all times. When we walk..that is. Right. Yes, well..I shall see you at supper then.” Bowing, Motto strode off quickly towards the castle where servants had already began making ready for his return.

Elenore rose with a trace of amusement in her eyes and looked to one of her more reliable ladies before flicking her gaze to the unfortunate maid who had managed to get to her feet and compose herself. The servant nodded a silent understanding and joined the maid’s side and spoke in hushed tones while leading her away. Other Ladies-in-waiting exchanged looks and hid their smiles. They just witnessed quite the scene! His Majesty’s first moment with his soon-to-be bride! Although it was a brief encounter there seemed to be an air of thrill to it, many of the servant girls blushing on behalf of Lady Genevieve and King Motto.

“Not a word, Hector.” Motto warned as they made their way to his bath. “It was Fang’s fault and I couldn’t simply walk past the Lady without a word.”

“Of course, Sire.”

“It was the prudent thing to do.”

“Yes, Sire.”

“I’ll wear my Father’s coat to supper.”

“Sire?” This was a touchy subject, King Motto had insisted that only Hector and himself touch the garment and it was kept hidden away in special compartment of his closet.

“It will do.”

“Yes, Sire.”

Motto finished with his bath and stood in front of the large mirror in his chamber while waiting for his clothes. He was decent enough...healthy and balanced. Suitable for .. bedding. The very idea caused him to color and shake his head. Since when did he harbor such thoughts?

A short time later, the young King stood waiting in the parlor just outside the castle’s smaller dining room where only a half dozen servants would tend to his supper. It was there that he expected to meet Lady Genevieve and enter with her. The coat still held his Father’s scent, and it was exceptionally becoming on him. No grime remained on the man’s square features, and Hector’s careful grooming had a remarkable effect. The clock moved too slowly and Motto grew anxious.

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:40 pm 
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At the King's dismissal Genevieve, along with everyone else around her, gave their curtsies and scattered "My Lord"s as he strode away. As Elenore made sure the maid was looked after, Genevieve couldn't help but think of what had just transpired. He insisted she take his arm when they were together? Genevieve's brow almost rose at his words. Perhaps he didn't realize that he was asserting his dominance? Not that it mattered, this was a man's world after all and any well trained woman wouldn't have given his statement a second thought, but Genevieve did. Choosing to stay in the gardens a little longer, Genevieve made the decision that she would most certainly not take his arm. She wouldn't make a big fuss about it, however, that would be imprudent.

After her stroll along the gardens, Genevieve was taken to meet a few of the nobles that lived within the castle. Not many were about, and she only met a few of the older nobles, but they all seemed quite taken with her. While their conversations varied, there was one universal comment: she would do good for the King. Genevieve graciously accepted their compliments before being taken back to her chamber to change for dinner. She had hoped to wear the same dress, but the king had already seen her, plus his clothing was very fine, despite the mud. She would have felt very under dressed.

Despite Elenore's disapproval at Genevieve wanting to wear one of her own dresses, the older maid chose a beautiful ivory silk gown laced with red along the hems and bodice. It was one of the nicer dresses Genevieve owned and she hoped it would do for dinner. Along with her gown, Genevieve wore fire drops around her neck and matching elbow length gloves. Her hair was done up into a loose updo, curls spilling down her back. Genevieve inspected herself in the mirror while playing with the ruffles at her bosom. Was she modest enough? Turning sideways she looked at the shape of her bodice. Perhaps it was too tight? Of course, Elenore had not only picked out the gown, she had helped her dress as well. Surely she would have said something? Banishing her worries from her mind, Genevieve followed Elenore to a finely furnished parlor.

The King stood awaiting them, just as regal as he had been in the gardens. While the grime hadn't hidden just how handsome the man was, it hadn't done him any favors. There was no way he had never had a suitor. Perhaps a secret lover? Surely there had to have been someone? A man as beautiful has him? Wait-why did she care? It's not like she was actually going to marry him. She would defy him enough that he would send her away. Where she would be forced to repeat the same game until she too old to marry. Goodness, but it was exhausting.

Smiling politely, Genevieve curtsied with a "My Lord." His coat was just as beautiful as he was. "You're coat is lovely." She was struggling for words. Why was it so awkward for her? "Shall we adjourn to the dining room?" Pointedly, though silently, Genevieve folded her hands before herself. If that wasn't obvious enough, Genevieve didn't know what to do. She didn't want to come off as rude, but she neither was she going to concede. Genevieve was much too strong willed. "I met a few of your nobles. They're lovely." Of course, it could have been a ruse, but it seemed the older nobles she had met did care for their young ruler.

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:56 pm 

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The tell tale swish of skirts and gentle click of heels made Motto turn. So taken aback by the sight of Lady Genevieve was he, that the King seemed to lose his balance for a half second. Ivory was a stunning color for Her Ladyship, and the crimson gloves she wore owned his very soul. She joined him and the room seemed hotter than it had a moment ago. Her curtsy nearly destroyed King Motto; giving him an enchanting view of her perfect attributes. Forcing himself not to tremble, Motto stood taller and nodded in his Kingly way at the compliment to his attire. “It belonged to my Father.” His voice was a bit huskier than intended. Odd.

“You are ravenous. Ahem-RATHER..appealing..FEELING! You are..feeling rather… ...well? My Lady?” Motto cleared his throat and ignored the heat on his face. “Yes. The dining room.”

He lifted his arm and waited.

By God she was the most beautiful creature he had ever looked upon.


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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:32 pm 
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"I am feeling well. Thank you for asking, My Lord." Taking note of his arm, Genevieve gave another polite smile before walking through the open doors to the dining room without taking it. It was beautifully furnished. The table was draped with a gorgeous yellow tablecloth embroidered with green. The dishes matched beautifully and were of a delicate porcelain. It was amusing watching Motto flounder for words. Perhaps it was that he seemed so put together, almost inhumanly so. It was nice to see there was a man under the crown.

Standing before the seat a servant slid our for her, Genevieve waited for Motto to sit before taking her own. Genevieve couldn't help but clear her throat. This was slightly uncomfortable. "Elenore has begun brushing me up on your national history." Should now be the time to discuss her place as his queen? It may be a rough beginning, but it had to be discussed, had it not? After all, should he expect nothing but heirs, he would be surprised at her ambition, perhaps unpleasantly so: and she would not be one to live her life ignorant to the rule of her would be nation. Genevieve was a woman who wanted to be involved.

"I wonder, Your Majesty," Genevieve paused to take a drink of the tea set before her. "Where I fit into your rule." The idle pleasantness of her voice was gone. Genevieve sounded as if she were negotiating. She sat back in her chair and folded her hands in her lap. "I am not one who enjoys empty hours. I was raised a ruler, not an ornament." Genevieve briefly thought of her tutors fondly. They knew very well they were teaching Genevieve to be quite the headache. She had hoped, however, that she wasn't coming off incredibly rude. While ideally he would send her away, it would not do for her to burn this bridge entirely. An alliance may still be needed in the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:32 pm 

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She had looked at his arm and dismissed it..never in his life had Motto believed in the cruelty of subtle swords until that moment. The beauty had very deliberately rejected him, his Kingship, and his country just then; wounding him profoundly and then entered the dining room before him. Unaccompanied. It was a miracle that none of his servants gasped and held their composure (though one poor maid lost most of her color) and Motto fought to control his temper on their behalf alone. Certainly not Lady Genevieve’s. He stopped himself from reaching out to grab her and pull Her Ladyship back into the parlor for her first lesson, and stood there livid as she entered the dining room. He had been a fool just then; licking at her shoes like a love-starved puppy and now the absolute humiliation of his office directly after. Motto steeled himself and commanded his nerves to obey as if about to enter combat. So be it. Away with the discomfort and confusion. In battle, the King would charge forth and banish all else from his heart. He would do this for his people.

A full five seconds after Lady Genevieve passed through the doorway, King Motto appeared. His features were flushed with residual embarrassment, but his eyes were steady. Ignoring the tremendous impropriety that had just transpired, he seated himself and let the servants begin their graceful dance of filling their glasses and serving soup.

"I wonder, Your Majesty,"

Motto glanced up in wonder and immediately shifted his expression into a polite and interested one.

"Where I fit into your rule. I am not one who enjoys empty hours. I was raised a ruler, not an ornament."

The tension was mounting and Motto decided to quell it straight away. “My Lady,..” He set his spoon down and gazed at her evenly. “You shall fit as my Queen. Your duties shall be the same as mine; to serve our people. Only I will be their King, and you the Queen..who takes her King’s arm whenever it is offered, who never walks in front of her King, who waits for her King to speak first at meals, and who shall make the most beautiful heirs known to mankind.” His words had becoming increasingly crisp and Motto’s temper was beginning to show. “You will rule with servitude just as I do, My Lady. Without personal attachment to your role but making every effort to honor it.” He was furious but still sitting, thankfully. “Hector.”

“Yes, Sire?”

Image

“Have them delay the viewing.”

“My Lord?”

“Put it off but a day.” He waved an assuring hand and picked his spoon once more. “I wish to give the Lady a little rest from her journey before meeting her people.”


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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:33 am 
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Genevieve took in a deliberate breath. It was hard not to raise an eyebrow at the tantrum this man was having. A subtle tantrum, but a tantrum nonetheless. Not only had he not answered her question, but in the response he gave he reprimanded her. Like a child. Her first instinct had been to lash out, but that would have been imprudent. She needed to get her point across calmly. Genevieve would stay her anger, long enough for the King to lose his.

Oh, but she had struck a nerve. Perhaps she should have felt reprimanded, maybe a little guilty for pushing this man's buttons so soon after meeting...but she did not. Sure, he was very intimidating, but Genevieve would not be bullied. He wanted to flex his authority? Genevieve wondered if he had heard of her reputation beforehand? Surely it had preceded her arrival. Her reputation of publicly rejecting the submission her suitors forced upon her. Well...what people didn't know was that before it ever came to such extremes, Genevieve had demanded equality in private. Some had lasted longer than others in the hopes that she would bend: they wanted nothing more than a pretty, silent queen to show off and to enjoy carnally, but they all eventually grew tired of her insistence. Genevieve was not so naive to think society could change overnight, but if she ever wanted it too, it had to begin somewhere.

"Perhaps.." Genevieve began cautiously, wondering how to best word her feelings. "Perhaps you missunderstand me." Delaying the viewing? This was certainly a good start towards her way home.

"I understand what is expected of me in public." Genevieve had placed emphasis in her words by leaning forward a fraction of an inch, hoping to get her point across. "But I am not a cow to be bred and left out to pasture when not needed for calving." Genevieve purposefully addressed the only real duty Motto had given her with a hint of distaste. "In private you will be my husband not my king and in this regard I demand equality."

There. It had been said aloud. The tension in the air was palpable and more than one servant paled considerably. Genevieve had not been oblivious to their reactions in the few minutes that had passed. Although it had seemed like hours. She was almost certain that had she decided to begin eating her soup, she would find it had turned cold. Genevieve didn't have much of an appetite anyway. Besides, she was fairly certain the king would dismiss her from the dining area to her rooms. The servants could enjoy what she did not eat and if they did not, Genevieve would inquire about it for breakfast.

A sly thought came to Genevieve's mind. Perhaps she shouldn't give him the authority to dismiss her. That would certainly be the icing on the cake, would it not? "I think you are right, however." Had it really only been a few moments since she had spoken? "I could use some rest." Genevieve stood after feigning a yawn. "May I be dismissed, Your Majesty?" Had asking taken away his authority? If he sent her away it would seem her idea and not his own, but if he denied her? He would definitely be throwing a tantrum then.

Was her deliberate attempt to anger the man wrong? To some degree, Genevieve thought not. These were the very real things that needed to be worked out if they ever hoped to make a marriage work. Of course, one could argue she should have gone about it more delicately. To which Genevieve would respond with why? Because she was a woman? The weaker sex? No. The only way Genevieve would be taken seriously was to start strong and stand her ground.

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:02 am 

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"Perhaps..Perhaps you missunderstand me."

The King had expected a response and this came as no surprise. His gaze however, was becoming difficult to manage. Her neckline and frills framed Lady Genevieve‘s form in such a way that it nearly commanded him to stare. And those gloves. His supper would not sate the appetite now stirring in Motto’s depths.

"...But I am not a cow to be bred and left out to pasture when not needed for calving."

His eyes widened as the words bit, but the young King calmed himself quickly. Her sentiment was upsetting but the true dilemma was behind them.

"In private you will be my husband not my king and in this regard I demand equality."

Motto’s hand curled into a fist as his mind took in all that she said. He would speak to it but his temper was simmering and he sensed what felt like provocation from the lovely woman. She was puzzling to be sure, but he would not be so easily antagonized or discouraged. A beautiful creature of her stature harboring such anger was most concerning, like a wounded fawn in the glade. It would be wise to approach with tenderness but the pressure to ensure her outward behavior was great indeed. Gilthlore was brimming with joy to learn of his intended marriage, and Motto would give them their Queen. Their gentle and proper Queen.

He had just opened his mouth to speak when Lady Genevieve rebelled yet again, using his own words to counter strike. When she stood, he rose to his feet with haste (as it was proper to do whenever a Lady entered the room or came to stand; his Kingly office excusing him from the particular nicety but in this moment he gave it no thought). Motto was at her side a second later with his arm lifted and a playful gleam in his eyes.

“Please. Allow me to accompany you, My Queen. rrr..My Lady.” All confidence vanished and fresh color rose to the King’s face. “It is important that I ..” His eyes traveled down her perfect neck and fluttered to the ecstasy below. He arrested himself and blinked up at the Lady’s green eyes. “..see you safely returned to your chamber.” The sun itself could not compare to the heat radiating from his cheeks.

If she were to take his arm, Motto would depart without any ado; making certain to mark her strides and keep a slow pace. There would be a light shuffle as servants moved about to their respective positions in following the royal pair. The King would pause and address them in a gentle manner, “I shall see to it myself. Send for my physician, Hector.”

“Certainly, Sire.”

The young King intended to speak his mind while they walked through the quiet castle’s halls, but he would wait for a short time while gathering his thoughts. The dark sky was visible through the large windows; many bright stars had appeared and the moon was brilliant. Their steps would be muted by the thick carpets and the occasional guard they passed was less noticeable than the soft flicker of candles lighting their way.


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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:55 pm 
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To say that Genevieve was surprised as the King's control over his temper was an understatement. There was a point that she was almost certain it would boil over, but instead he came to her side and offered his arm. Again. This didn't surprise her. They never took what she said seriously and when they finally did it was just before sending her away. Should she decline his offer to escort her? It was temping. Not to mention, if she were to take his arm, it would be very encouraging. Of course, she had just got done telling the man she knew how to behave in public: and escorting her to her rooms risked the chance of running into nobles. Was he testing her?

Genevieve lowered her gaze, lashes brushing her cheeks as she weighed her options. When she met his eyes, he looked flushed. Was that anger, or- Genevieve had to suppress her own flush. She was unsure whether to be angry or complimented. Admittedly she felt a little of both, but much more anger, surely. After all, she was being serious and he, infuriating enough, seemed not too. Perhaps to save the King from further embarrassment, or because he had trapped her with her own words, Genevieve took the man's arm, gently touching him. Almost as if to say she was doing this of her own choice, certainly not because he had used her words against her, and she would break contact whenever she wished.

With her other hand over the one wrapped around his arm, Genevieve waited for him to lead her to her chambers. The hallways had a beautiful aura about them as large open windows let in the cool night air while giving way to the starry sky. She was certain he had plenty to say, particularly since she hadn't given him a chance back in his private dining hall. Genevieve would remain quiet, although for how long, she was uncertain. It was all too evident the woman spoke her mind. But for now Genevieve listened to their slow muffled foot steps and the soft swish of the linens draped throughout the hall. It could have been a pleasant walk if the impending earful she knew she would get wasn't hovering over Genevieve's head.

No. Genevieve would remain relaxed. She couldn't let him see how tense she was becoming, so slowly Genevieve released what had started to build in her shoulders and middle. To calm what rage she had been feeling, Genevieve chose to look out at the dark landscape. There was a sort of sleeping calmnessabout the dark hills and faint shadowed trees. When she felt relaxed enough to speak, Genevieve spoke in a hushed tone. "Thank you for escorting me, Your Majesty." She was still slightly annoyed, but Genevieve hoped she hid it well enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:25 pm 

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“You are most welcome, My Lady.” he murmured, his expression distracted. Another quiet moment passed and Motto began to talk.

“Lady Genevieve, you seem concerned about how I might treat you...publicly and privately. I must confess I am inexperienced with marital matters such as that, and have only my instincts to rely on. I see no distinction between public and private..I will be your husband always. I shall also be your King...ah!” He paused in his walk and snapped his fingers before looking to the Lady. “I believe I am beginning to understand! You fear that I would command you in all things and have no ..no…” His features twisted while recalling the word, “..tenderness! I see! Yes! And that would also explain the hostility!” He was grinning wide; a strange contrast to the topic at hand to say the least. “You have been mistreated as such before!” The smiled faded. She truly had been wounded.

He was at a loss for words and resumed their stroll. It was a poor subject to discuss having only met the Lady Genevieve that afternoon. Women’s hearts were delicate places and were to be treated with a special dignity; one that he was sorely lacking at the moment.


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Lady Genevieve, you seem concerned about how I might treat you...publicly and privately

This was starting off well. Perhaps he was someone who could come to understand how she felt, but as he continued to speak, any hopes that Genevieve had of this man actually understanding deflated. Some of her suitors, the more hopeful ones, came to this conclusion and it was always best to quell it as soon as possible. It would not do for them to think she had been...tainted. Genevieve had learned that lesson the first time a man assumed as much and she did not pounce on the train of thought immediately.

"...And that would also explain the hostility!” Hostility? Hostility? She hadn't been hostile with the man? She did not raise her voice, nor her hands at him. She merely rejected his arm and spoke her mind. Although if he continued to steer the conversation in the direction it was headed she may get very very hostile with him.

"I am still a maiden, if that's what you're implying." Genevieve's voice was flat. Perhaps she could have been a bit gentler, perhaps thankful of his thoughtfulness, but when men assumed she was worried about...tenderness rather than take her words at face value, it upset her.

"You're Majesty." How was she to go about this? She would keep it civil, of course. "I have been treated like any noblewoman. As property. A prize. A pawn." Her own father was trying to sell her to the highest bidder. Now, Genevieve didn't blame him entirely. It was the world he grew up in, but she wanted to change that. This was something she was passionate about and her passion began to show as she spoke. "I live in a world where my only value comes from what prestige I can give my husband. Whether it be a damure queen, wealth, beautiful heirs, or something else." As they continued their slow pace, Genevieve's arms slipped from Motto's own and she gently gestured with them as she spoke.

"We look upon the harlet with disdain and yet am I not like her? I have been sent from suitor to suitor in the hopes that a deal would be made with the end goal of bedding me." Genevieve's voice heated. When she had come to this conclusion years before, it had angered her to no end. "We are more than that. I am more than that." There was so much she wanted to tell him, but it would not happen overnight. Genevieve wanted him to learn and she knew too much may be overwhelming.

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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
View Likes PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:53 pm 

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"I am still a maiden, if that's what you're implying."

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Motto's mouth fell open. Somehow he had questioned her purity! How to apologize? Before the stammering could start, her voice delivered him. Motto listened carefully to the dark elements of royal life as she explained herself; he was well aware of the unkind monarchies that bordered his domain and felt that he understood the Lady's sentiment. Until things took an unexpected turn.

"..I have been sent from suitor to suitor in the hopes that a deal would be made with the end goal of bedding me."

"Wa--" he choked on his own spittle and it was some time befoe he was able to recover. Clearing his throat once the fit passed, Motto kept his eyes forward and strove for a Kingly tone. "I had nothing to do with our arrangement. My people want for a Queen, My Lady, and so I asked my advisors to find such a woman. I did not choose to be King, yet here I stand.. and so shall you, my Lady. By my side and with our people's hearts the only concern." His expression softened into something faintly sad. "I have no other expectations."

His arm had dropped to his side after she released him, but Motto wasn't aware of it. He simply continued to walk and and think. There was still one problem that hadn't been addressed. "As for producing an heir..I am resigned to it. I will not trouble you with any unwanted affection otherwise." It was utterly heartbreaking to think that his Kingship would lack the love and joy that filled his parents' rule.


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 Post subject: Re: Queen of Hearts
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Knowing men rarely thought of a woman's duty, Genevieve wasn't all that surprised when she caught Motto off guard with her analogy. In part, she did so for shock value, but what she said had been true. She found it somewhat...endearing to find him trying to explain himself and why she was chosen. Why had she been chosen? Surely there had been larger countries pining to create a connection with Gilthlore. The silence was heavy and Genevieve didn't really want to break it. Sometimes it was nice to walk in silence. Instead, she retook his arm and enjoyed the night for a moment.

"I think.." Genevieve began in a hushed tone. "You should have expectations. Otherwise, you won't find a competent partner. You must think of your future children. Heaven forbid should something happen to you and your young son should take the throne, would you want an advisor, with unknown intentions, to become consort? Or his mother?" This was usually where most of her suitors began to disagree. "If you don't have an intelligent Queen, how can she lead her son in the right direction?"

She let her question hang in the air. It wasn't exactly a very strong argument, but sometimes one had to use a scenario that the other could relate to, to get one's point across. Genevieve knew she would not make him see reason, as she saw it, overnight, but he did show promise.

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