I awoke briefly at Angoulême. A gentleman entered my carriage and with him the biting winds of a raging storm, causing me to tighten the cloak around my shoulders.
The momentum of the journey lulled me back to my slumber and I began to dream about a young lord courting me in such a salacious manner that I attempted to get past him. Swiftly I was captured and stripped bare. Realising his strength was overpowering, I lay back naked, waiting for my fate.
I am sure my breathing must have quickened. This was a frequent nighttime fancy of mine since I had been joined in wedlock with a nobleman old enough to have sired me. My family agreed it was a good match as Duc de Blois was a landowner with a vast wealth.
Even though it must be said, I appreciated him lavishing me with fine robes and gifts, he was devoid of wit or intelligence. I longed for a little excitement and stimulation.
In a moment I was wrenched from the colourfulness of my dream into the stark realities of the carriage. Indeed, the dream must have wrought its force upon me as the cloak had fallen open revealing my décolletage.
Sitting very close was my companion. I felt sure his lips had brushed mine but that would have been discourteous. A mere flight of fancy on my part, perhaps?
‘Why my lord what ails thee? Why so close?’ I questioned.
‘There was a creature upon your person. I felt it my duty to protect you. To save your honour.’
‘And what creature would that be? I see none other than you in this carriage.’ I announced in the manner of a jest, attempting to ward off his overtures.
‘A vile beast was about to settle upon your breasts.’
‘My breasts?’ How forward was this gentleman, to mention my bosom? Yet somehow my heart fluttered as he spoke.
‘All eight legs. A spider in short. Which has now returned to its web high above us. But I think I should stay hard upon you in case it should return.’
‘There is no need my lord as I know spiders very well, having grown up on a farm. In my experience, it is the beast with two legs of which one should beware.’ Smiling I wrapped the cloak about my person.
He regained his composure and returned to his side of the coach. Yet his leg brushed mine and I can not deny an unbidden trembling passed between us that almost made me swoon.
‘Will we reach the château before nightfall, do you think?’ My breathing was irregular.
‘I fear not Milady. The roads are so bad in these parts we have had to slow down to avoid losing a wheel. There was so much bucking that I feared for my ancient bones.’
‘Your bones appear not so old. Compared to those which I am most familiar – I refer to my noble husband.’
Life had been good to his complexion and awarded him some attractive lines from laughter around his sharp eyes. In contrast, my husband’s appearance was weather-beaten at best, his pallour, grey and hands bony and gnarled. I shuddered to recall my regular, near-nightly submissions, as a dutiful wife.
It seemed we would need to rest at an inn for the night. With this in sight a notion came to mind that suddenly held a grave importance to me,
‘One moment My lord.’
‘Tonight, I would be most grateful if you would hear my confession.’
‘Tush tush Milady. I am no man of God. I work for the Cardinal, it is true, but I am not of his cloth. So, I hear no confessions.’
‘I crave absolution.’ Nothing seemed as important.
Yet he could not believe I had sinned in my lifetime.
To gain some leverage I let my cloak fall to the floor.
I could see the innkeeper approaching with a lamp but I was not to be halted.
‘Absolve me tonight my lord, I beg of thee,’ I beseeched.
He looked at me, beguiled. The innkeeper informed us our bedchambers were adjoined and my companion turned to me. Kissing my hand in a respectful manner he glanced into my eyes,
‘Milady, if you crave absolution, who am I to deny you. The pleasure will be all mine.’
He retrieved my cloak, placing it around my shoulders.
I looked ahead with slight trepidation but the need for release was greater.
This is he second time I have written an alternate POV for one of CP’s stories. Read the first.
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