Lady Cecelia Ch. 02 Pt. 01byHawkerDeHavilland©
In the decade preceding the glorious victories of Henry V on the fields of France and long before he'd come of age, an ill-advised excursion to those same fields by his father Henry the IV resulted in unforeseen disaster and the capture of 5 English earls, eight hundred Knights and two thousand good esquires.
As was the custom of the day: The Dauphin of France and his lieutenants, those who had captured without injury English warriors, held them in trade for English gold crowns. Repatriating captured English invaders this way increased the capital of many a French Lord's estate throughout France.
William of Edenbridge was one of those eight hundred. This good Knight had fought with courage dispatching many of the French who stood before him. His valor notwithstanding: the English line had failed in battle, the day belonged to France and he was led to captivity until such time as the coffers of Henry the IV could provide ransom for his release.
These were difficult months. From the moment Sir William surrendered his arms the disgrace and shame of defeat were compounded by his conquerors. The humiliation began by being paraded in a display through the villages of France where the English were pelted with garbage and stone at every turn.
It ended in their incarceration. A castle prison owned by one of the fiefdom's Dauphin below a great moated city and fortress became their home. William and his countrymen were subjected to jeering jailers and constant subjection to the curiosities of the Lords and Ladies of this particular French court. As if observing caged exotic animals, the genteel gentry of the Dauphin's court uninitiated to the ways of war and the English barbarians before them, would parade past the English jail cells speaking their French in mocking tones laced with condescension and laughter. Their high status and rank within the gilded Lords and Ladies of this French Court differed not one bit from that of William's own in England, yet the bitter foreign retribution wore on his soul.
At first William was defiant. But as the weeks and months progressed with no answer to his messages from home he secretly yielded to homesickness and thoughts of the Lady who owned his heart. Through couriers William had sent his pleas for release to the command of his King. Through couriers he had mirrored those pleas in correspondence to his love Cecelia.
Across the water that split the two countries Lady Cecelia had been petitioning her King franticly for an audience. She held in her possession the letters William had written, letters she had appealed to the court be shown the King in formal style the French demanded. That quilled ink on rolled parchments written in William's own hand was Lady Cecelia's only tangible connection to him. Clamoring to the Court's solicitors with them daily, she pressed them to her breast at night weeping in solitude and fearing for his loss to her forever.
In the castles quarters where Lady Cecelia had her chambers, her Lady in Waiting marked time by candles and glass. Its hour length burned almost to its end as Lydia prepared herself for the walk to Lady Cecelia's room. Although a daughter of royalty, Lydia was in service to her because Cecelia was sovereign; a birth Royal presumed to be betrothed one day to a Viscount, Earl or perhaps even a Prince due solely to her fathers' wide fortune and estates throughout the Kingdom. Befitting her status and rank The House of Henry deemed such a daughter be served by a Lady in waiting; the maiden Lydia.
Lydia's beauty was exceptional with authority of lineage enough to protect the secrecy surrounding her Lady's love for Sir William. On the occasion of the Joust it was Lydia who had preoccupied the awe-stricken armorer and Sir William's pages so thoroughly outside the canvas walls of the Knight's tent. Astounded by Lydia's beauty and rank they became deaf to the sounds of passion within. No lad of their standing had ever been within speaking distance to a Lady of the Court.
Cecelia's trust in her sister royal was complete. With Lady Lydia she shared every confidence and With increasing frequency Lydia attended to the heartsick Lady's chambers. Only there it seemed Cecelia could speak in confidence of her passion for William to someone so familiar with his ways. Lydia became the only living soul with which Cecelia could unburden herself of admissions of love, plans and dreams. With increasing frequency Lydia attended to the heartsick Lady's chambers.
The hearth would be ablaze with cherrywood illuminating tapestries hanging to keep the stone walls chill from the room. Arched windows of leaded glass, the blackness of night outside, reflected candlelight from candelabras which stood on tables dressers and ornate cabinets that stood against the walls. A dressing triptych, heavily cushioned chairs, carpets of royal burgundy and the accoutrements of a Lady of Royalty filled the room.
Each time she entered her Lady's chambers Lydia felt a certain sense of excitement, feeling of shared dominion and whether she lived an absent love life at her tender age of twenty years, Lydia enjoyed the vicarious deep attachment to Sir William as did her sovereign; beaming with joy at each happiness as well as burdened with grief at every sorrow.
On nights such as these expectation beamed from Cecelia's sparkling eyes for she had discovered, although belabored by time, a solution to her heartsickness.
"Oh Lydia...come, come!" Cecelia would show her another daily composition to a benefactor in France's court who showed a possibility of taking up her cause. A table covered with parchment, manuscripts, quills, ink and Royal stamps had become ubiquitous near her bedside. Her most recent composition spread out upon that table would be explained to Lydia in hopeful detail.
"These will go by envoy to the very daughter of the Dauphin himself," she excitedly smoothed out the parchment the ink still fresh upon its cream surface, "Witness, I have made my personal plea to her for the release of William!"
"Oh, my Lady!" Lydia exclaimed overjoyed at Cecelia's new expectations. Cecelia was once again miraculously infused with new energy.
"She MUST understand. I have been civil and diminutive, respectful and heartfelt in my requests. I shall express my Williams situation every day until I am sure she has received these entreaties. A courier will send my appeal at every tide to France. The gentleness of a woman's heart is all I have left." Yet, even as the days passed, these hopes were not enough to comfort her and she began to go absent from the Court's view for days on end as Lady Cecelia kept to her quarters attende to and visited by handmaidens to her service and Lydia to her friendship.
Throughout the months, in evening hours like these, Lydia would be asked to tell stories using her observances of her Lady and William's interaction together for Lydia had always been close by to their every meeting except the most intimate. Lydia knew of every interaction between her Lady and Sir William having hovered over them exclusively. These recollections of William whispered at Cecelia's bedside in Lydia's calming voice served to sooth the Lady's troubled soul.
"Lydia, come to my bedside," her Lady would beckon at the height of her loneliness," and tell me of William."
Her young confidant would relate the details of all the meetings she's witnessed between them embellished as one would tell a love story. She would retell of their loveliness together in her own words describing the marvel of their intimacy.
She reflected on Sir William's handsomeness, his strength, his manliness and his features using the best of her words to keep his memory fresh in Cecelia's thoughts as well as to brighten her spirit. Often these remembrances seemed to remedy her Lady's troubled soul. Yet there was intimacy she was unable to describe. Lydia's virgin heart comprehended none of it even in the depths of imagination.
And the days passed. Lydia had exhausted all she remembered and as the weeks passed Cecelia grew ever more despondent. More frequently servants were awakened in the still of night aware of their Lady's restlessness. Lydia's own handmaidens had, standing behind Cecelia's chamber door, experienced for themselves episodes of inconsolable grief within. These were sounds of forlorn and tragic weeping for lost love in the darkness as Cecelia called out to him in the darkness where, on occasions such as these, Lydia was sought from her chambers.
On one particular night, roused by women's voices, Lydia cloaked herself in a robe and made her way to Lady Cecelia's chambers. Handmaidens were distraught," Oh, dear Lady...our Cecelia is possessed. The sounds she makes are one as if tortured!" They stood wringing hands, faces pale with alarm.
The hallway was dark as they opened Lady Cecelia's doors to a room dark save the firelight from the hearth. Peering into the bedchamber, their eyes adjusted to the darkness and beheld Cecelia lying beneath her covers knees making tents of the spread. She was shaking to and fro as one possessed. The sounds of her groans were barely audible.
"Wait here," Lydia whispered to the frightened girl and she made her way tentatively to Cecelia's bedside. Her Lady became still as she approached head turned away.
"My Lady," Lydia began, "are you ill? Shall I call for an apothecary...a physician?"
"No...no..." Cecelia's breathless voice was barely audible. Her features were transfixed with expression Lydia had never witnessed on her Lady's face before, "Stay with me. Stay Lydia, please." She gestured to the maid at the door," Send her away."
"Leave us." Lydia ordered, "Close the door. Let no one enter until you are bidden to open it by me." She sat on Cecelia's bedside taking her Lady's hands in her own leaning forward to hear Cecelia's desperately whispered words.
"I am burdened with a thousand cares, "Cecelia began, " yet I have found the place within me which William claims as his. I cannot bear to be without his touch. I see the vision of him in my mind's eye and entertain this place he holds so dear as if my hands were William's very own. This touch, so mired with a sense of false heaven has become the Devil's own incarnate. May God forgive me for this falseness for now that I have found it I cannot forsake its sweet sin."
Lydia was unsure of her Lady's meaning and tried to calm her.
"My Lady," Lydia swore, " I have the will to keep your confidence for I am dedicated in spirit and bound to your heart's command as would be any faithful sister. But I do not understand. "
"Oh, the sight of him...his manhood...oh to know he will soon offer it to me. Yet...Oh, my soon to be husband confined in French prison has redoubled this inconsolable desire for him," Cecelia was breathless, "he is lost to me! And yet to touch, to stroke, to desire its precious gift in complete fulfillment...the want of him Lydia...the weight of it."
Lydia gulped at the words from her Lady's lips. These were inexpressible thoughts of her sex, a man's sex and their interaction. "My Lady," Lydia offered what strength she could having never experienced comparable temptation, "should you not force these visions from your thought? A priest...through prayer..."
"Why deny this treasure?" Cecelia interrupted, "Why cover this heaven in a burial shroud or disguise this love under the ruse of genteel self-restriction? You cannot know what my William has caused within me! Once uncaged it cannot be recaptured! It cannot be ignored!"
Lydia felt a tightness take her throat. Cecelia's words, so foreign, began to peal their knowledge as a carillion of bells from a tower. These were words befitting an unchaste scullery maid, rude and strangely unfamiliar, yet they excited Lydia's young heart.
"You are forgiven by me as God in his mercy forgives you my dear sister." Lydia's soft voice trembled.
"And then would God in all his mercy keep me from this? You must stay with me then. Tell me words of comfort Lydia. Take this care from my heart sweet sister and comfort me" Cecelia's hands tightened on hers, "If you will not speak then be with me while I minister to myself. Help make this agony pass quickly with your words of love sweet sister so that I may fall into blissful sleep. This ache shall never leave me and I shall face the dawn with exhaustion."
"My Lady..." Lydia stammered, "Why?"
"Lying together, the William you cannot know entreats me to shed my garments and I do so willingly watching as he disrobes, watching his wonderful chest and I, so close to him put my hands against it and feel my heart pound. The manhood he possesses is revealed unlike an animal it is a magnificent thing and I reach to hold it. Cock so utterly hard, yet silky and soft yearns to be inside me. His words tell me so. He entreats me, pleasures my flesh as it moves to me. He craves me. He worships my flesh. My breasts become playthings in his hands. The pleasure administered to my helpless bosom is indescribable. His kiss seduces my every sense. His arms enfold me.
"Every thought of him arrests my senses, royal sister, how can I lie in this bed with the ghost of him haunting my sex? To be lifted to the gates of heaven, his scepter warm and hardened as if stone. A beautiful spear waiting to fill me with his length, his thickness, Lydia, my legs open wide for him! I beg for him like some debased bitch. Beg him, Lydia!, beg him for the hardness of his manhood to plunge itself into the depths of all that makes me a woman."
As Cecelia spoke Lydia became aware of an unoccupied hand reaching beneath the covers where Cecelia allowed it to linger.
"Cecelia," her maiden companion, overwhelmed by a bombardment of images whispered, "why....what is it that occupies your touch this way?"
"William is the cause of my need. William is the counselor of my hand and my touch," she whispered desperately ," pleasure I must have in his absence. Please do not judge me dear sister."
".....Cecelia." Lydia's voice was barely audible.
"Do not judge me...sweet dear sister...just know before God how I need this...please do not leave me alone...honor all I ask of you."
There came a soft liquid slippery sound from beneath her Lady's covers. Knees bent causing a canopy between. Cecelia had reached hands between her own legs to administer their fingers touch to the womanhood between. Bed sheets slipped from her knees to ankles exposing her actions to Lydia's wide unbelieving eyes.
"He holds my breasts in his hands providing me with infinite pleasure," Cecelia said entreating, " let your hands be mirrors of his own. Heed my description and touch these unsatisfied privacies of our delicate sex. Put your hands to their sensual use upon me Lydia so I may put an end to this impossible yearning and be able to do so quickly. This touch from you is all I ask."
"Oh.....dear," Lydia's hands once in Cecelia's grasp, were released. Lydia trembled; unsure and weak with confusion. Her voice was troubled, "Dear Cecelia, my rights in this cause are yours alone. Yet surely , should someone know we should be banished! Am I to be directed by you this way is my sworn duty and I would do so lovingly at your command, my Lady....yet the shame if ...we....are discovered."
" It is such false honor girl," Cecelia said softly looking into Lydia's confused eyes, "Hold my breasts in your hands. Take them as you would your own. Tell me not you have never, for I would demand you swear before God you have not....here...girl....be counseled by me...for my sake, for the sake of love and our fairest sex. In the name of passion, in the name of my desire."
"Oh Cecelia" Lydia's voice broke with emotion.
"Raise it and take this gown from my body. Place pillows and bedding beneath my back. " Cecelia was softy insistent.
"Oh my Lady..."