Twelfth Night Triumph


Joanna heard the lock click as he spun her around and set her down on a Turkish style couch. He smiled at her as he removed her mask. "There is no reason for anonymity now, Joanna. We have both wanted this from the moment we first saw each other."

She was caught off guard as much by his use of her Christian name as his knowing her identity. She blushed hotly as he came in for another kiss. His tongue devoured her and left her quivering. "I have dreamt of this," he huskily whispered.

"Have you Sir truly wasted a night thinking of a woman as insignificant as me?" Joanna was curious to know if he had really thought of her or if she just had his attention for this one evening. Not that it would have changed what was happening, but her feminine ego wanted an answer.

His kisses covered her cheeks and neck and down to the décolletage of her gown. "How could you doubt it?"

"You are a sought after and important man. Even Her Majesty fawns on you."

He stopped and gave her a fierce look. "She means nothing to me beyond her position as my Sovereign. Of course I fawn on her and hope for her favors in return. It is the way of the world. But Body of God she is smothering me. She will never marry me or any other man, but does not want me or any of us to look at another woman. Joanna, I want nothing more than to forget her right now-with you. I want you Joanna. Tonight is for us." He kissed her again, the passion stifling any further protests unsaid in her throat.

He pulled back for a moment. "I do not want to ruin your dress. If it is damaged, someone may suspect." His hand slipped down her neck and inside her sleeve as he sensuously stroked the velvet against her soft bosom. He teased open the bodice, using the cloth to work the fever in her blood to a boiling point. Joanna sighed rapturously at the luxurious sensation.

Robert gently eased her out of the gown and hung it over a chair. He then took his time removing each of her five petticoats. Joanna looked gorgeous shadowed in the firelight and clad only in her shift, but he wanted to see her naked. He had thought of it almost unendingly since he first saw her, although not exclusively. He angrily pushed the image of Lettice out of his mind. Lettice had rejected him, but his beautiful Joanna had not. He also had to force the image of the Queen out of his head. She would skin him alive for this if she ever found out, but damn if she would not have him then she had no right to deny him someone else! He would spite them both, in the arms of a woman more generous than either.

His hand stroked her leg through the thin cloth of her shift before his hand went under the hem and lifted it up. Again he tormented her; lifting the soft linen agonizingly slowly off of her warm skin. He ran it over her pink nipples causing them to harden. Joanna mewled quietly, fearful of being overheard but intoxicated by what Robert was doing. His eyes bored into her and she shuddered at the passion behind them.

Robert finally removed her shift, leaving her naked body exposed. His hands ran over her bare skin, testing her responsiveness to touches on her breasts, belly, neck and lastly the inside of her legs. Joanna quivered and shook under his fingers. He stepped back from the couch and took off his doublet, hose and codpiece. His chausses outlined the firm muscles of his legs and between them his organ stood erect. The sight of it drove Joanna wild with need.

"Your mother was French, am I correct? Are you familiar with their ways of love Joanna?" Robert asked as he re-approached the couch.

Joanna's eyes were frozen on the head of his cock inches away from her face. She reached her hand out and grasped the shaft. She felt it pulse under her fingers as they ran up and down exploring its feel. She had never done French before, but she had overheard it described enough to know what to do. Her hand revealed his head and she gave it a tentative taste. Robert moaned into her bosom at her lips' embrace.

Joanna drank in his musky flavor and scent and it sent her mind and body into frenzy. She swallowed his length as he rained kisses over her writhing body. He held her head with one hand. The other ran up her leg and to the wet heat of her womanhood. He stroked and petted the soft folds. Joanna sighed and took him deeper into her throat. He arched his back and savored the sensation of her mouth making love to his member.

Robert pulled himself out on the brink of release and leaned Joanna back on the couch. Their eyes met and Joanna exulted in one more passionate shiver before he entered her warm sheath. The tight muscles resisted briefly, but their mutual passion drove him past the struggle of her unpracticed privates. She gripped around him tightly as he began to slip in and out. His weight pushed down on her until she felt as if she were drowning. His hands and lips mauled her breasts. She ran her hands over his straining battled-hardened torso. As their bodies twined together they feasted on their mutual need and desire.


The Queen muttered an oath under her breath. Robert looked over at her, ready to calm the tempestuous Sovereign.

"Every day we are faced with more people begging favors, begging appointments, always wanting more more..." her voice began to rise into a shriek. "What are we to do about our current household? It is already too large and always there is someone else!"

"You will have to make some cuts. Let me look over the household lists." He took the list and pretended to look it over casually for a few minutes. "Ah, here is a simple solution to open up three positions. You can restore Lord and Lady Coe and their daughter Mistress Nolan. Surely that would be a fair exchange for their loyalty and cost the Crown little in revenues while also increasing that loyalty."

Elizabeth thought about it for a moment. She could use good, loyal people in that part of the realm and the Coes fit that need perfectly. She had also noticed the difficult time Joanna Nolan was having with the other ladies of the Court. It would be a kindness to send her back to her manor and the country life she had been born and bred to live.

"Tis a good suggestion and we will take under consideration," the Queen said. She watched Robert's reaction. Did he have an ulterior motive?

He yawned and replied, "There are probably a few others on the list in a similar situation. We can look over the list... over supper?" He asked, kissing her hand

"Of course, my Sweet Robin." She smiled at him coquettishly. He really did want the best for her always. No other woman could ever challenge that.


Joanna rode up the river road and saw the stone turrets of the keep in the distance. Her heart skipped a beat as she galloped across the bridge and into the bailey. Larkswood! She was home.

An elderly man stepped out from the Hall. "Mistress Joanna is it really you? Praise God you have returned to us."

Joanna could not stop the tears. She looked around. Queen Mary's agents had prevented the manor from degenerating into a ruin, but there was a general feeling of neglect in the air. The gardens were overgrown. The stable roof needed repair. None of that mattered to her compared with being home.

"Thank you Taylor. It feels so wonderful to be back," Joanna sobbed.

"There is a lot to do Mistress to get the buildings in order."

"I understand that. How soon do you believe we will be ready to receive guests? I am expecting a visit from his lordship Sir Robert Dudley"

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