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  1. #91
    Edward Moore

    Edward smiled very confidently at Victoria.

    "Your Grace, I am sure that he will as well. In due time he will see that it is what is best for all of the realm."

    Oh, he was definitely sure of that. All he had to do was make sure the Cardinal didn't jump the gun and try to force Lady Drake into King Theodore's arms. A plan like this, it needed careful planning. The seeds were being planted for his Majesty, but it also took time. One had to be careful, especially with their beloved monarch being very fond of his Queen. Edward was sure it would pain King Theodore to bed one of the Queen's ladies, even if it was a necessary evil. The kingdom needed an heir. The blood line had to be continued. If not, it would spark civil war. With various families proclaiming their bloodlines were the true link to their kingdom's past.

    A good king ruled justly and ensured his legacy would carry on with a child. A child that Queen Esther could not provide. Lady Drake was a young woman, surely a fertile woman. If she became with child then that would prove the king was not to blame. And then a suitable new queen would be presented for his Majesty. Such as Emma Montgomery. A young woman with noble blood. But one thing at a time. First, Agnes needed to become a lady in waiting. Then the rest of would fall into place.

    Edward was glad that Victoria had the same ideas he had. They always communicated well with each other. They could say so much to each other with so few words. They were perfect for each other. Such a shame their parents had not seen that. Perhaps, in due time, they could truly be together. Once a new Queen was crowned and Henry and Katherine were out of the picture.

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  2. #92
    Katherine Moore

    Katherine had no desire for schemes and court games. Unlike her husband, she was very content with her place in society. She had two sons that she loved and now was having grandchildren. She had a good life, a comfortable life. The Moores had enough wealth to make her want for very little. She had no desire for being as close to the throne as Edward and Victoria did. Suffolk was her home and she loved it. If she knew their plans for Lady Drake she would be aghast. She thought Queen Esther was a lovely queen. Beautiful and kind. And she would pray each day that God would bless Her Majesty with a child. To fill the King's castle with the joyful sounds of child and to stop the terrible rumors. So far, God had not answered those prayers. But did not miracles happen at Christmastime? The Duchess of Suffolk hoped so.

    Katherine looked over Edward speaking to Victoria, the Duchess of Norfolk. They caused whispers too. Edward thought she didn't know, but she did. She saw the way he looked at the Duchess. A way he had never looked at her. If either had been given a choice, Katherine knew she would not have been chosen as his wife. Victoria was everything Katherine was not. She was intelligent, ambitious, and scheming. Victoria and Edward connected on a level that he and Katherine never had. And she had long since made peace with that. Victoria would always be the third person in her marriage.

    Besides, her heart was fond of another. One who also felt there was a third person in his marriage and had to make peace with it, Henry Montgomery. He was a good man, a man she wished Edward could be like. A better man then Katherine felt Victoria deserved. Not that a proper noblewoman would ever voice that. Katherine made her rounds, making small talk with those gathered in court. Until she found Henry. She always enjoyed talking to him the most and saved him for last. So she could spend the most time with him.

    "Happy Christmas, your Grace."

    While Edward had long ago acted on his attraction to Henry's wife, Katherine had never done the same. Not that many would have blamed her. But one of them had to stay true to their marriage vows. Adultery was a sin and no matter how tempted Henry had made her at times, Katherine never committed that sin. Even if she would sometimes day dream about how much nicer being married to the Duke of Norfolk would have been instead.

    "You must be so proud of Emma. She has grown up to be so lovely."

    And look like perfect combination of Victoria and Edward. It hadn't escaped Katherine that the girl had Edward's eyes. The same eyes that her own sons had.
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  3. #93
    Victoria Montgomery

    "His Majesty is wise. He will always do what is best for the realm."

    Victoria agreed with Edward with a smile. She knew the king loved his kingdom and he hated the rumors about why there was no heir. Some would whisper that perhaps it was not Queen Esther who was the problem. Lady Drake could those rumors to rest. She seemed to be willing. The Duchess had no doubt her father would be thrilled with the idea.

    Of course, given the young woman's history, any child she bore of the king's would be a bastard. He or she could not legitimately claim the throne. But that was okay, His Majesty was surely kind enough to take care of the young woman and her child. And then Edward, being the close adviser he was to their beloved ruler, would put a proper noblewoman in front of him. A young woman, like her daughter, Emma. Advise him to annual his marriage to Queen Esther and make Emma his new queen. Then she and Edward would have everything they could ever want and more. The sky would be the limit once Emma was crowned Queen and provided King Theodore with a child. Preferably a son. Yes, Victoria thought, the new year would be a wonderful year. For many people, except Queen Esther, of course.
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  4. #94
    Henry Moore

    Henry and Victoria were as different as night and day. She desired so much more in life then he did. He was happy with how his life was. Being the Duke of Norfolk was enough for him but he knew it wasn't for his wife. He could never match her ambitions in life. Not like Edward Moore could. Henry watched his wife talk to the Duke of Suffolk. He had long ago accepted that that was the man Victoria would have picked if she had been given a choice. She barely kept her affections for the other man a secret. Edward could always give Victoria things Henry never could.

    Like Emma...Henry sighed as he looked at his daughter. Mingling with other girls her age. Fitting right into the Court, a totally natural at it. She had his name but often Henry doubted she was his. He loved her as his own but...He was certain that Edward was her true father. Her eyes, it looked so much like his. Like his dear friend, Katherine, it didn't escape the Duke that Emma had the same eyes as Edward's sons. He knew others saw it too but proper society never said it would out loud. There were just whispers, like there were whispers about His Majesty's lack of an heir. That's why he hated coming to Court. Everyone just whispered and never said what they thought to someone's face.

    Everyone but Katherine Moore. Henry smiled when she came up to him. If his own parents had given him a choice in bride, he would have picked someone like Katherine. She was a wonderful mother, a wonderful person. Henry doubted there was a cruel bone in her body. Someone like Edward Moore did not deserve her at all.

    "Happy Christmas, your Grace."

    Henry replied with a genuine smile to the Duchess of Suffolk. He always enjoyed her company as well. He considered her his dearest friend and the one pleasure of coming to Court. While many played games, she didn't. If he did not fear God so much, he may have acted on his attraction to her years ago. But he doubted it would have happened, even if he was weak. She was stronger then him and she feared God just as much. She'd never allow either of them to commit the sin of adultery. Even if their respective spouses had committed it.

    He nodded his head when Katherine spoke of Emma.

    "I am and thank you."

    He replied and was genuinely interested in knowing how her sons were doing. Henry happily talked to Katherine until it was time for everyone to get ready to dinner with their monarchs. He kissed the back of Katherine's hand.

    "We best get ready for dinner."

    Henry wished his friend goodbye for now and went find his family to ready.
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  5. #95
    King Theodore and Queen Esther

    As they retreated from the Great Hall to the King’s chambers to prepare for the feast, the royal couple shared a deep breath. They both knew their places and obligations as monarchs, and did the best they could to stick to them. Still, they would sometimes prefer to just be a regular couple, as they would then be subjected to much less scrutiny.

    Once they saw themselves alone, the King and Queen shared a gentle kiss, before starting undressing. That was one of the things they sometimes made a point of doing themselves, to spend a little more time alone.

    After a few moments of silence, the Queen spoke up, softly. “It pains me that I cannot give you what I wish for Christmas, love”.

    The King sighed and took a few steps towards his Queen, wrapping his arms around her. “It matters not, Esther. We will have an heir, but not in our time. God’s time works differently”.

    The Queen sighed as well and let her head rest on the King’s shoulder. “I know, my love, I know. But…”.

    “But…?”, the King replied, encouraging the Queen to speak her mind.

    “...We know nothing of the future. Each year, each month, I would say, counts. I… wish to suggest something. But not now. Tomorrow, perhaps”.

    The King nodded. He knew his wife had a good head on her shoulders, and that whatever she had to suggest would be sensible. So, he trusted her and asked no questions for now - even if curiosity was killing him.

    It didn’t take too long for the King and Queen to be ready - richly dressed in royal purple - and waiting for their guests to be gathered before making their way to meet them. The festivities were about to begin.
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  6. #96
    Emma Montgomery

    Emma had to admit being in court was a lot better than she had anticipated. When she was younger, court had seemed a bit scary, with all those strangers, a world she didn’t know how to navigate. Now, though, she was getting older, and, under her mother’s guidance, more secure in the dealings involved in being here. Now, she knew who people were, and those she should avoid. She knew how to behave, and it eased her stress quite a lot.

    And she got to look at the King and Queen through the eyes of a young woman. They seemed to like each other well enough - which was a bit of an odd idea for Emma, used to seeing marriages as a partnership, but not much more -, but had no children. Sometimes Emma wondered what would happen if the King had no heir.

    While she didn’t know of her mother’s - and true father’s - plans, Emma also felt something had to change. How and when, though, were things she didn’t know. She would have to ask mother for her thoughts later.

    Pushing all of these thoughts aside, Emma picked out the dress Victoria had previously selected for her to wear - as she trusted her mother’s guidance in all matters - and got dressed, doing her hair to match. Once satisfied with her appearance, she placed herself outside her mother’s chambers and waited patiently for her, so they could all make their way to the feast together.
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  7. #97
    Agnes Drake and Cardinal Marcellus Drake

    "You look stunning," Marcellus told his daughter. "Like an angel. I'm proud of you."

    Agnes knew she should have been heartened by her father's praise, but somehow it fell flat. He never seemed to comment positively on anything but her looks, or to hope for anything for her other than bedroom potential. It was wearying that such things were all she was good for... but what else was there? It wasn't as if she had anything better to offer. She squared her shoulders, and pasted a smile on her face.

    She knew she did look appealing, at least. Her dress was blue, trimmed with white - lovely colors to set off her red hair. The neckline was low enough to make a pleasant suggestion of what lay beneath, without any loss of modesty. Her loose hair was brushed to a high shine, and signaled her (theoretical, if not actual) virginity, and thus desirability.

    If only the turmoil within would quiet to match her outward demeanor.

    As Agnes entered for dinner, she worried she was going to faint. Her father kept a tight grip on her arm. "Do not disappoint me," he whispered. "If you know what is good for you, you will not fail."

    "I won't fail, Father," Agnes whispered back, the smile she had forced on her face not wavering an inch.
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 01-08-2018 at 05:32 PM.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea
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  8. #98
    Humphrey Heron

    Had the invitation to supper not been extended by the king and queen themselves, Humphrey would have dined alone in his chambers. He was exhausted from the effort to socialize with the other nobles. This was not his world, nor did he wish it to be. He would be happy to eat with the king and queen, but there would be many others there he needed to satisfy - or at least not irritate too badly.

    As they entered the dining room, Humphrey scanned the room, and frowned when he noticed Marcellus subtly manhandling his daughter. Humphrey might not be especially fond of Agnes, but her father seemed even worse, and the poor woman would end up with a bruise the way the cardinal was gripping her arm.

    "My lady, if I may?" Humphrey asked, extending his arm to Agnes to escort her into the room. The form of address he used was above her station, and she seemed confused by the whole situation, but - accustomed as she was to doing as she was told by men - Agnes smiled prettily and took the outstretched arm.

    Marcellus silently fumed at him. Ordinarily the Duke of Northumberland would have seemed like a fine catch on his own merits, and Marcellus would have been practically shoving his daughter into the duke's arms at the faintest sign that might indicate interest... but right now, the Cardinal had his eyes on a larger prize. This man must not be allowed to interfere with the plans Marcellus had for his daughter with the king...
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 01-08-2018 at 05:35 PM.
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