Queen Eleanor Ch. 03byPampinea©
Later that night, I laid awake in bed stroking myself to recollections of my evening with Brother Hugues when a gust of wind shook the window, startling me out of my erotic half-slumber. I glanced around the darkened room through my shady, waking eyes—the only light came from a dwindling fire at the hearth. Petronilla slept deeply across the room. I tried to relax yet there was a sense of foreboding fermenting in that intuitive pit of my stomach, and I could not calm myself.
I stood up quietly as to not wake my sister, and wrapped my shawl tight around me. I opened the door leading to the second floor balcony from our bedroom to retreat into the chilly April night. The stars were magnificent—a cloud could not be seen for miles over the gently rolling and shadowed hills around Bordeaux. Now and then I dozed as I leaned across the heavy stone balustrade, always wakened by a wisp of frigid breeze passing over my face, trickling through my hair, and chilling my fingertips wrapped round the stone. At first, when I heard the cavalcade of horse hooves beating down the drive at the early hour, I thought I must have been dreaming. There were four knights a-horseback, dressed in the travel-stained livery of my father, the Duke of Aquitaine. Coming to alertness, I yawned so far back in my jaw that I heard a click and ran downstairs, praying that these men were here to rescue me and bring me back home to Poitiers.
The Archbishop beat me to it, and I found him deep in a tense discussion with one of the knights—a man I recognized vaguely from court as Sir Harduin. When I appeared at the threshold, the conversation halted immediately. I suddenly became aware of my immodest state of dress when all five pairs of eyes were upon me. I pulled my shawl in closer to cover the spike of my chilled nipples, pronounced through the flimsy linen of my nightgown. Sir Harduin fell into a deep bow at my feet—his three comrades followed. "Lady Eleanor," he said gravely. "I am sorry to announce your father passed away from dysentery just a week ago. I appreciate any emotional turmoil you may be experiencing, but I am here to inform you that you have now—as his heir—succeeded the Duchy of Aquitaine. I hereby pledge my allegiance to you, Your Grace."
Within hours, an army had descended upon Ombriere Palace to protect me (apparently I was at risk of an abduction or attack), and according to the Archbishop, my—no longer my father's, but my very own—vassals were heading towards Bordeaux. I suppose I was grieving for my father, but it was not my nature to mourn. Life is too precious to waste a day in black clothing, crying indoors while there was feting and dancing and singing and riding elsewhere. While my father did love Petronilla and I, he was now with his father, beloved mother, my mother, and my poor little brother William Aigret who had lived so briefly. I reasoned that a reunion with four loved ones trumped sticking around with me and my sister.
Petronilla and I hid from my vassals and courtiers wishing to pay respects. It wasn't that I didn't like the attention—I did—it was only when their good wishes turned into requests and political insight that I grew frustrated and abandoned it all together. I was not yet ready to start ruling.
At dinner a fortnight from my ascension, a hushed and judgmental murmur spread through the Great Hall—the sort of murmur reserved for my scandalous Grandmother Dangerosa. She came in dressed in a scarlet traveling cloak, luxuriant black hair askew from travel. As she advanced towards the dais, I rose to meet her. Her lips turned upwards in a grin, illuminating the catlike eyes that I had inherited. Embracing me tightly, she apologized for her late arrival, but I didn't mind. I was just happy she was here. She was the closest thing Petra and I had to a mother since our own passed when I was eight.
Dangerosa took the seat beside me and the servant poured her a deep goblet of wine.
"How was your journey, grandmother?" I asked politely. In the presence of the court, I tended to ask only the most superficial questions because I never knew who might be listening—a tactic I learned from my father.
"It wasn't terribly long," my grandmother replied between sips, "the whole countryside is ablaze with the news. Everyone is talking of your fathers' death and of your fate."
I nodded slowly, not quite sure what to make of it. "Well we shall see what happens."
"We shall," Grandmother agreed with her trademark wicked grin. "My old bones are exhausted after that ride and I shall retire to my rooms now. I will meet with you later to talk more." She squeezed my hand and was off with a servant and a refilled goblet.
"I've heard Prince Louis is rather monklike and boring," Petronilla said provocatively.
Grandmother scowled at her. "Hush, Petra, let Eleanor form her own opinions about the young man when she meets him."
Petronilla demurely returned to her embroidery and fell uncharacteristically silent. Grandmother turned to me, "Don't worry Eleanor. I'm sure he'll be a wonderful partner." This morning word had come from Paris that the king, Louis the Fat, custodian of my estates until I found a husband, had arranged a marriage between myself and his son, Louis. The news was welcome to my advisors. I have to admit that I was intrigued by the prospect of being Queen, though I knew nothing about the prince. Petronilla seethed with jealousy—she knew of Jaufre and Brother Hugues, and now Louis. She had never so much as been kissed before.
"That's not what I'm worried about, Grandmother. You, of all people, should know that. I've heard he's never even touched a woman. How can I live my life with such a mediocre lover?" I tried not to sound like I was speaking from experience but I had never been able to lie to my grandmother. She always saw right through me—we were too alike, she said.
"I should never be saying this," Dangerosa started, "But you don't have to. You always have options. Hopefully he'll get better at it with time and you will grow to desire him, but if you do not, no one expects you to live a life without passion—as the future queen of France, you will just have to be discreet about it, and careful that you don't get pregnant with another man's child. The northerners are not like us down here in Aquitaine. They're far more stolid and judgmental. They take their religion quite seriously and dress modestly. They don't like to have fun. I remember once when I accompanied the old duke on a trip to Paris, I had to pose as a minor noble and sleep in a separate bedroom. Had they known I was his mistress, your grandfather said, they never would have received me. And honestly, from what I observed when I was there, I'm sure he was right. There was no singing or dancing at all."
"Why am I marrying him, Grandmother? He sounds so unlike me. I can't even imagine fitting in at the Parisian court. Is there any way I can refuse him?"
"I'm afraid there's not, darling. I know you had very little say in the decision of your betrothal, but it's already been agreed upon and he should be arriving any day now. And I must impress the point—you should not form an opinion of him already. Things do have a way of working out and I'm sure the two of you will grow to love each other very much. And who knows? He very well might be the exception to the rule and prove me wrong about Parisians."
It was a bright, clear, warm morning in early June when Jaufre returned to me. I was walking in the garden with Petronilla when he snuck upon me, grabbing me by the waist and pulling me close. Petronilla—who knew of our arrangement—blushed and excused herself, leaving the two of us alone. "How is it possible for you to more than double in beauty since I last saw you?" he smiled down at me, stroking my face.
"Oh, Jaufre, though you are a troubadour, you can't always be such a sappy romantic," I placed my hand above his own. "You know I'm getting married, don't you?"
"Of course I do. I've written you a ballad for the big day."
"Should I be anxious or excited to hear it?"
"A little of both," his lips spread into his glorious smile. "But don't worry—I shan't tarnish your reputation before the prince." I pulled him towards me and kissed him.
"It's really nice to see you again, Jaufre."
"You as well, Duchess. I didn't know where our relationship stood now that you're the most high ranking person in the land. I didn't know if you'd still let me touch you."
I laughed beguilingly. "I'll let you do more than that."
My hour spent with Jaufre that afternoon was the best I had felt since I became duchess. Not only from a pleasurable standpoint, but he gave me a chance to relax and be lazy and forget about my responsibilities and my upcoming marriage.
Dutifully, he kept my maidenhood intact though I was growing frustrated everyday. His licking and fingering and sucking was always lovely, except I felt my young cunt hungering for more with each orgasm. I longed to feel his huge, hard rod buried deep into me, filling me and driving me to the edge of lust with each thrust. It was clear that Jaufre wanted it too. With each hour spent alone, I found his cock closer and closer to my hot little hole but he always managed to restrain himself. This afternoon, however, he had stroked my rosebud up and down with his hardness. I felt such a wanton whore as I craved the feel of his cock moistening with my own honey. Once he stuck it in just a little bit, circling the mouth of my tunnel yet staying cautious as to not break the barrier. It was exhilarating to feel the tight band of flesh yielding with each plunge.
He pulled out and licked me to the finish just before he put his cock in my grasp and I tugged and massaged at it until his slit erupted with his sweet milky seed, coating my face and breasts.
Jaufre dropped down beside me and relaxed against the ancient tree. I fixed my skirts about me but kept my bodice off, watching as the come slid from my collarbones to my softening nipples. Another hour we spent talking; I told him of my time with the Archbishop and Brother Hugues (which he found very humorous), and I vented about the stresses of being the Duchess, and my fears about being a bride and the future queen of France.
"I know no one more fearless than you, Eleanor," Jaufre said. The sun was sinking as the day wore on, and the light seeping through the tree leaves was nearly orange. It illuminated Jaufre's face in patches and shadows, reflecting in his dark eyes. "You will handle this all with grace and ease, and if you can't conform to the pressures, I know that you will mold them to you."
"Thank you, Jaufre," I took his hand. "I'll be sad to say farewell to you again."
"As will I, Eleanor. But we still have a month until your betrothed arrives and we should make the most of it. We'll meet again tomorrow, so just be excited about that. Don't worry yourself with the future."
"You'll have to come visit me in Paris sometime. I hear it's not so awful in the spring."
My wedding day was no different from any other July day in Aquitaine. I don't know why I thought it would have been—perhaps rain or another event as an omen portending to bad things to come, but the 25th came and went with sun and a light breeze, just as it should have. I admit that I was disappointed that such an extraordinary day for me be so ordinary, but it was.
I first met my husband on the dais before the Archbishop at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, when the cleric clasped our hands together. I peered at him from beneath my veil and he was beautiful as an angel. My first thought was immediate relief at his slenderness—his father was known as Louis the Fat, after all, and then I looked closer. His hair was straight and golden, his eyes large and sky blue, and his mouth like a full blossom. Part of me envied his beauty, though I knew I was just as—if not more—lovely. Despite his being two years older than I, he was more boy than man. His face was shaved clean and there was no shadow of a beard, and he was slim though had no muscle tone like my past lovers.
When he spoke his voice was rich and sweet, like biting into a ripe summer plum, and his words were pure and chaste. He spoke abruptly and practically—unlike the descriptive and poetic everyday turn-of-phrase I was accustomed to in Aquitaine, but I was fascinated with his loveliness nonetheless. I wouldn't have said that I was attracted him. My interest of him did not manifest between my thighs—it grew in a little knot in my chest that breathed with his breath and expanded as I learned of him.
The minstrels played and Louis dutifully swept me away into a northern-style rondelet—a stilted and formal movement that reflected the coldness and sincerity of my new husband. We joined hands with other revelers and Louis kept his glance trained away from me. Persistently, I watched him from the corner of my eye—his elegant movements, and the glow of his beauty in the candlelight after the sky fell dark.
"Won't you pray?" Louis asked me, his eyes thin in judgment. We were alone for the first time all day and he was displaying none of the tenderness or fondness I felt towards him.
I was unsure of what to do—for prayer was not part of my daily routine—but I decided to humor him rather than assert my authority just this once. I picked up the soft silken skirt of my sleepwear and headed towards the prie dieu in the corner. I knelt upon it, running a nearby ivory rosary through my fingers, and murmuring indiscriminate things that sounded religious. He was watching me steadily, and I glanced over at him. Much to my bewilderment and delight, he was growing erect and rubbing himself slightly as he watched me pray. He was like an angel. I lifted the rosary to my lips and ran my tongue along the smooth beads, making a show of it.
He groaned softly. "Come to sleep, Eleanor." Taking me by the hand, he lead me to the bed and softly, gently, as if I was the Virgin herself, he laid me down and stroked me in a fumbling and unpracticed manner. I smiled in spite of it and stayed perfectly still lest I betray my true wanton nature while he nervously drew my night dress upwards. He gulped as his gaze took in my smooth thighs and waiting cunny (covered with a soft tuft of hair), my pale, softly rounded stomach, and my bare breasts. Experimentally, he touched my chest—one breast after the other—with a cold hand and I felt myself longing for the knowledgeable caress of Jaufre who I had been with only yesterday, or the slow and deliberate ministrations of the monk. I closed my eyes and imagined I was running my tongue down Jaufre's chiseled chest, tasting the sweet salt of his skin as my mouth rolled over his firm abdomen and his cock pressed against my stomach.
Opening my eyes I found my husband lurking near my cunny, looking puzzled as he examined it closely. He stuck one finger out and quickly swiped it up my bud and I sighed—not with pleasure, but with exasperation. I wished I could take the lead and teach him but it would have been so inappropriate. Catching my gaze, he withdrew a second rosary, stuck it in my mouth between my teeth, and smiled. "Now this might hurt, wife, and I apologize in advance," with shaking fingers he undid his trousers and I bit my lip and the rosary in distaste. He revealed a smallish cock—not tiny but slimmer and shorter than both the other cocks I had been with. I imagined it was a respectable size but my past lovers must have been extraordinary. He bent over and gave me a weird little kiss on the corner of my mouth before trying to stuff his cock into my fairly dry cunny. The dryness was blocking him from insertion, which was quite painful, so I thought of Jaufre's cock circling in and out of my hole, stretching me out and filling me, and I felt my juices flowing. Pleased with this turn of events, Louis rammed himself into my chamber and I cried out in pain. He had not yet located the barrier—he had hit the wrong part at full speed.
I bit down on the rosary in my mouth, praying for this to be over soon. With one more unpracticed thrust, he got far enough in to finally take my maidenhood. He was clearly overcome with the excitement of the moment and he finished right then and there. Hastily, he withdrew from me leaving a mixed puddle of semen and blood on the bedsheets. "How was that for you?" he asked, seeming proud of his abilities.
"Very nice," I answered. I couldn't bear to tell him the truth—he seemed too sensitive, too proud of his performance. "It hurt a bit, but I imagine with time it will start to feel better."
He nodded. "I hope you're with child now."
I smiled. "That would be miraculous." But I really, really hoped I wasn't.
My heart filled with tenderness for the poor, unpracticed boy and I drew him to my chest and held him in a comforting embrace, as though he was my darling child. "Louis, I am your wife now. Your love and your source of comfort. Please turn to me, and please let me into your soul and make me a part of your life."
He looked up at me with his cherubic visage and smiled. "I will love you forever, Eleanor. Princess Eleanor. My future queen."
"I love you as well, Louis," I murmured into his soft, spun-golden hair. His breathing slowed and steadied and he fell asleep upon my breast. I blew the candle nearest me out and joined him in sleep.
Late that night I woke to thunder and rose from my slumber. I had not dressed since my previous encounter with my husband, and wandered to the window. I pushed it open and glanced at Louis; he was sleeping to heavily to wake. The thunder was ringing in the distance and the rain had not yet began. I drew my bare body onto the broad window ledge and dangled my legs into the cool night air. Leaning my shoulder against the wall for support, I placed my eager fingers upon my cunny and stroked myself. Tonight had been the first sexual experience I had in which I did not climax. While I imagined I would have found it odd and unfair, I did not mind. My dear husband was too naive to know of a woman's pleasure. But I would teach him. I would find a way to drive his cock insane with desire for me, and then the orgasm would come. I knew it would.
I was thrilled with my husband's progress. Each day we remained in Aquitaine, I molded him more and more into one of us. Shortly after our wedding we had left Bordeaux and returned home to Poitou where Louis was learning to enjoy himself. His skin was golden from sun, leaving his pale northern complexion far behind—I hoped—forever. His hair was lighter—almost white—bleached from the sunlight as well. He began to dress like a Poitevin, in bright silks and patterned jackets, and had even composed a poem. It was in the rough stages, and he was very insecure about it, but I encouraged him to read it to the court and we all roared our approval. He was showing promise.
The sun washed away his faith and he had stopped praying most nights. Instead of kneeling to prayer once we returned to our chambers for the evening, he whisked me into bed and we made love for hours. I felt bold enough to teach him how to make me come—how to lick my cunny and stick a finger inside, and how to push himself deep within me to bring me maximum pleasure. He found he loved nothing more than licking my cunny. One day he had felt passionate enough, and brave enough, to push me down behind a great old tree and lift my skirts to eat me beneath the noon sun. I brushed my fingers through his lovely white hair and pulled him closer into me as he made me scream and sing his name as the climax rolled through my body.
The best part, though, was the emergence of Louis' personality. I discovered him to be a smart, observant, and artistic soul, with a rich sense of humor. He had a good heart but found the palace dwarves wildly amusing. Any joke involving the four little ones was greatly appreciated by him. He had even taken up sketching. The palace artist showed him the basics and bestowed upon him a set of charcoal. Terribly excited, he had first drawn the dwarves, and later in the noon the landscape from our bedroom window. That night, when we retired for the evening, he drew my nude form. Within days, the palace—our bedchamber especially—was littered with Louis' drawings.