Thursday, June 13, 2013

L'Adventurer, Orb's Year 925-928

Orb's Year 925
The following months after leaving her father's castle were a blur to Princess Celeste.  She was still in awe that Prince Geoffrey L'Adventurer had carried a tendre for her all these years!
They were wed in a lavish, yet hurried, celebration with the royals and the nobles in attendance.
Immediately after exchanging the rings, Geoffrey smiled saucily at his guests and lifted Celeste into his arms.

"If you'll excuse us," he grinned.  "It is time to celebrate our nuptials! Privately!"
Hours later, Princess Celeste went to sleep easily.  Geoffrey had been everything she'd ever desired in a husband and a lover!  Sighing softly, she scooted backwards into his arms and enjoyed the feeling of his holding her.

***

Geoffrey was sick of Celeste and her insipid comments! He had only married the Royale chit because his father had threatened to disown him if he didn't find a way into the Royales court and gain favor.  It was his job to find out how strong their defenses were and whether or not they would be able to add land to their kingdom.
The matchmaker gypsy had been a god-send with a love potion. Hopefully with a little of this potion, he would be able to ferret out information while doing what he did best - seducing maidens!
His first foray into information gathering had been with a dirty wash-woman from the village.  She'd been awed by his castle... and his interest in her. 

At first she'd tried to act as though she wouldn't betray the sainted Princess Celeste, but a gold coin quickly changed her mind.

"What'd you have in mind, your majesty?" she'd asked coyly.
Prince Geoffrey had leaned forward and whispered what he had in mind to the slightly scandalized peasant.

She didn't say no, though...
Feeling quite refreshed and satisfied, Prince Geoffrey sought out Celeste.  Of course, he found her painting at that damnable easel.  As he strutted over to her, he wondered if she would be able to smell the peasant on his lips.
He secretly got a thrill out of that thought and spun Celeste around and kissed her thoroughly.  "I'm off to the boys, ma petite" he called over his shoulder as he left the house. 

Of course, he was really off to the forest that Suzie had mentioned with the hopes of meeting the elusive Prince of Thieves.   But, what little Celeste didn't know wouldn't hurt her...
Celeste fanned herself as her husband walked away.  He was so virile and handsome, she thought happily.  And completely hers!  Smiling, she turned to her work again and dipped the brush in the paint.

Orb's Year 926

Celeste attempted to make toast one morning while humming softly to herself.  It was one of the only things she was able to hold down in the morning, now that she was expecting.

Smiling, she laid a hand on her belly and grinned. 

She hadn't told Geoffrey yet, but she planned to let him know as soon as he returned from his recent adventure.  He often claimed that he had the soul of an adventurer and his spirit needed to wander.  When he spoke of all the places he'd been and the people he'd seen, she was in awe! 

Whenever he finished telling her about the wondrous adventures he'd been on, she would often tell him that she'd love to go with him.  Usually, he'd frown and tell her that she was too delicate to consider such a rugged trip.  But, oh, to see pyramids! Or jungles! 

But, more than anything, she missed him when he was gone!  The castle seemed so much lonelier without him. 

Rubbing her belly, she thought that soon she wouldn't always be alone, though!
"Umm.. do you think breakfast is quite ready now, dear?" King Alexander asked his daughter.

Celeste turned and smiled at her father, then turned back to the fire.  Frowning at the smoke billowing from the pot, she hurriedly pulled the toast from the fire.  Sighing, she turned to her father, "I was so hoping to impress you!"

Alexander walked over and patted her hand, taking the platter from her.  "Do not worry, dear.  With time you learn all the kitchen finery!  If you wish, perhaps Emily can come over a few days a week to help teach you!"

"No, I want to learn to do it on my own!" Celeste said.  "But it is kind of you to offer Emily!  I should have her over for tea one afternoon when it is slow.  I miss her!"

***

Celeste wasn't sure what awakened her, but she woke up with her heart beating quickly and drenched in sweat.  She was certain she'd been having a bad dream and felt a ball of dread settle in her stomach. 

Had she heard something? Was someone in the house?

She held herself still and listened quietly, certain she heard something....
Geoffrey had run across the delectable Gwen Consul on his return from the jungle and had regaled her with stories of the tribes that ran around there in the most indecent clothing. 

"Of course, that is only the smallest part.  The women walk around with their breasts bared to the sun!" he said.  "Although, as a male, I must say that I think that I would love to see that trend take hold here!"

Gwen giggled softly.  "I can imagine that would be quite liberating.  Perhaps I should try it some time!"

Geoffrey's eyes flashed, "Be sure to let me know if you feel... liberated!"

Gwen leaned closed and whispered, "Perhaps it is something best seen rather than heard about, your majesty."

Geoffrey leaned forward to let Gwen know that he most definitely would be interested in attending her liberation when he heard a gasp.  Turning, he saw Celeste behind him, clutching her chest.
"Oh thank God! You're home!" she said.  "I was so worried when I heard noises!" Celeste hurried forward to hug him.

Holding her at a distance, Geoffrey frowned.  "Blessed Orb, woman! You wreak!" he said, turning from her.  "Have you no decency?  And we have company!"

Celeste's hands flew to her cheeks that were already reddening in embarrassment.  "I'm sorry, I didn't notice... And I was having a bad dream... I'm so embarrassed!"

Geoffrey turned Celeste towards their room and pushed her in the direction of the door.  "I will speak with you later regarding your lack of decorum.  For now I will bid our scandalized guest farewell and see that she does not share your shame with the village." 

Celeste stammered, "I'm so sorry Geoffrey," hurrying towards the safety of their room.  She'd never been more embarrassed in her life!  Geoffrey had sounded so stern!  She hated to think that she had disappointed him so!  Fighting back tears, she hurried into the bathroom to clean  up before Geoffrey came to bed.
"Well, that was certainly interesting," Gwen said as Geoffrey walked her outside.  "Is she that easily led around?"

Geoffrey turned and eyed Gwen, wondering how much to reveal.  It seemed as though he had found a woman that was his equal.  She didn't sound accusing, merely interested in his technique.  Shrugging, he bragged, "So far she has not noticed my frequent absences or indiscretions."

Gwen cocked an eyebrow, "And you're sure she has no indiscretions herself?"

At that, Geoffrey let out a booming laugh.  "Celeste? The paragon daughter?! Not likely!" 

"Her loss," Gwen tossed back saucily.
Grabbing Gwen's hand, Geoffrey kissed her fingers.  "My lady, I believe this will be the start of a very... pleasurable... friendship."

Gwen lowered her lashes and smiled.  "Indeed," she agreed.

Orb's Year 927
It had been a brilliant idea to befriend a messenger.  Geoffrey wished he had thought of it himself.  But, his father, irate at Geoffrey's lack of success had bid him redouble his efforts to find some sort of secret that would undo the Kingdom of Celestia. 

And who better to seduce than a woman that handled many messages every day.   She was sure to be privy to a wealth of information!

And Brittany seemed very receptive to his advances....
Celeste had noticed Geoffrey distancing himself from her over the years.  She wished she knew when it had begun or what she had done to displease him.  She had thought at the time it was his disappointment in her behavior that one night, but in retrospect, his distance had been growing before that time.

He was gone so often, perhaps they only needed to have some romantic time alone.  She had attempted to woo him a few times in bed, but he'd shrugged her off and said he found her pregnancy unsettling.

Perhaps when her figure returned he would desire her again....

She felt like the worst mother in the kingdom for eagerly counting the days until her delivery in hopes of enticing her husband once more!
But, soon enough, her labor was upon her.
She delivered a beautiful little girl, Elyssa.  Geoffrey had scoffed and said that he'd wanted a son, but Celeste thought her daughter was just perfect!

***

Sadly, it hadn't seemed to be her figure that Geoffrey found wanting, Celeste thought.  For soon after the birth of Elyssa, Geoffrey had gone off again on some adventure, leaving her alone with a newborn.

Perhaps there was something wrong with her, Celeste wondered.  Why else would her husband abandon her so carelessly?
Feigning indifference, Celeste threw herself into being the best mother possible.  She saw to Elyssa's needs herself, forgoing a nanny or servants.
And she pursued her love of art zealously!  Perhaps one day her art would be shown all around the kingdom! Everyone admired her creations when they came to visit her!

Why, between a newborn and her art, Celeste hardly even noticed Geoffrey's absences anymore!

At least that's what she tried to tell herself...
King Alexander could tell that his daughter was troubled, and he worried right along side her.  It wasn't right for Geoffrey to leave so soon after the birth of his daughter.  Celeste and Elyssa needed his protection and guidance!

And he had heard rumors of his son-in-law's wandering eye.

It saddened Alexander that he had pushed Celeste into this sham of a marriage.  He was at a loss on how to fix it, though...

Orb's Year 928
"Perhaps we should wait just a little bit longer?" Celeste suggested uncertainly.  "Geoffrey promised he would return in time for the party! I would hate for him to miss it!"

"Come off it, Celeste!" her brother, Prince Barron argued.  "We've already waited an hour for him!  Let us start without him!"

Celeste glanced uncertainly at the door and sighed. "You're right," she said sadly.
Holding her little girl close, she led the family in the birthday cheer and blew the candles out of the cake.
Elyssa was such a beautiful little girl, Celeste thought happily.
And suddenly all the noise in the room melted away.  Celeste sunk down to her daughter's level and began to play with her. 

No one else mattered in this world! 
It was her job to raise little Elyssa to be the happiest & most loved little girl in the world!

***

Geoffrey had lost track of the time.  He'd run into a quite fetching servant girl and had enjoyed the chase quite a bit.

Although, he must say he hadn't had to chase Brooke very hard before she allowed him to throw her skirts up in a pile of hay!
He sauntered home, ready for a hot meal and perhaps a hot bath to soak in!  Absently, he itched a spot under his arm that had been poked by the hay.
Celeste watched Geoffrey walk in as though he hadn't a care in the world.

"Where were you?" she demanded.
Startled at her tone, Geoffrey turned towards her.  So much for a hot meal and a hot bath, he thought sullenly.

Pasting a smile on his face, "Sorry, ma petite! I just lost track..."

Celeste interrupted.  "Don't 'ma petite' me!  You missed Elyssa's birthday!"

"She'll have others," Geoffrey attempted to console his irate wife.  Before Elyssa had been born, she never would've confronted him in this manner!  Now she was a mother bear standing in front of him, ready to protect her cubbling.

It was quite arousing!
Grabbing her into his arms, he kissed her speechless.  She'd resisted at first and had tried to continue arguing with her, but he knew he'd won when she'd thrown her arms around his neck.

Celeste wasn't sure what had come over her husband, but she loved it!  "I've missed you," she whispered as she kissed him back, running her hands over his back.

Stumbling backwards towards their bedroom, he tossed her to the bed.

Celeste went to bed smiling, certain that everything would be different now! Whatever had come between them was now gone!
The next morning, Celeste had woken up early to prepare a nice breakfast to share with her husband.  He'd walked up behind her, goosed her bottom and then sauntered away.  Walking out the front door, he'd called out, "I have errands to run today, ma petite.  I'll see you tonight!"

Celeste watched him walk out and felt her heart drop.  Stammering, she called out, "But when will you be back?"

He didn't answer...

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