Summary: This is a story from Joseph's POV regarding a special service he provided to his Queen.
Rating: MA Adult material. If you are underage, you should go read another story.
Disclaimer: The owners of these characters would NEVER allow them the fun that I do, and I do it all for FREE!!
Just a side note...the words at the very end of the chapter are adapted from the words of a song by Mandy Moore entitled "Only Hope"...I changed them some for the purposes of this story, but wanted to give credit to whomever the original writer of the song was (I'm unsure who that is...but wanted to give credit where its due!)
Thanks to Susan for her amazing beta work - you know I love ya, Susan!! *grin*
Chapter 6: My only hope…
Joseph was sitting upright in bed now his mind and body fully alert as he recalled that night. In retrospect, it had been a turning point for them nothing would ever be the same between them again. He had known, after holding her that night while she slept, that he loved her totally mind, body, soul, and spirit. He could never love anyone as much as he loved Clarisse Renaldi. He knew she loved him, too, with the same intensity that he loved her. The problem was that they were not free to love each other. Whether they openly admitted it or not, whether they thought it was fair or not, the bottom line was…they both knew it. He also had known that, even though she had denied it, things would be different once they had returned to Genovia.
His memory went back to the night before they left San Francisco. They had walked through the garden, enjoying the beautiful scent of the roses that were in full bloom. The roses always reminded him of her. They had been careful to be as close as humanly possibly without actually touching. With many of the delegates, including the Prime Minister, still at the consulate after the Independence Day Ball, they had been taking every precaution to ensure there was no hint of impropriety.
When they had finished their walk, he had escorted her to her suite and bid her goodnight with a gentle kiss on the hand. Her eyes had shimmered with unshed tears as she had silently acknowledged what they had both been avoiding…the visitors from Genovia had thrust Clarisse back into the watchful, public eye and served as a precursor of the life that was awaiting her…awaiting them when they returned to Genovia.
His thoughts drifted back in time….
“Goodnight, your Majesty, sleep well.”
“Yes. Yes, I shall try. Thank you, Joseph.” She placed her hand on his cheek as he bowed slightly before her. “You do the same.”
He gave her a slight smile, “I shall try as well, your Majesty. Sweet dreams.” Placing one last kiss to her fingers, he nodded and returned to his suite.
He was under no illusion that sleep would come easily that night. Now that she had shared his bed, it seemed large and empty without her there even though it had only been that one special night. Her soft rose scent still lingered on the pillow. He held the pillow tight; closing his eyes, he tried to rest.
The sound of wood scraping against the floor made him force his eyes open. It had been a fitful sleep, but he determined that technically he had been asleep. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he saw her standing a few feet from the side of his bed.
“Clarisse? Are you alright?”
She gently shook her head. She opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. He watched her intently as she fought for composure. Finally, she let her robe drop off of her shoulders. Joseph’s eyes were in complete focus now as she stood naked before him. Without speaking a word, he pulled the blankets back to extend the offer of “her” side of the bed.
She climbed in and nestled into his waiting arms. She spooned against his body and he felt her tears falling freely now. He kissed her hair and fought to keep his own emotions in check. His heart ached as he was sure hers did. The opportunity to spend alone time together in Genovia would be rare, if not nonexistent The secret service he had been performing would have to be even more secretive, if it were even possible at all...
She rolled over, her crystal blue eyes staring deeply into his. Their souls spoke to each other through their eyes sharing the doubt and fears as well as the unspoken love. His lips found hers with the lightest of kisses. She deepened the kiss, but only slightly. Tonight was not to be about the needs of their bodies; but the need of their souls the need to connect outside the physical realm.
Hands and mouths touched each other gently, in a worshipful manner. They rarely broke eye contact, allowing each touch to speak to the other’s soul saying the words that could not be verbalized.
As he settled into the cradle of her legs, he placed reverent kisses on her forehead making his way to the area over her heart. He held his lips there, feeling the increasing beat. Their bodies joined symbolizing that they were one connected now in every possible way. Her arms and legs encircled his body and held him close. His head nestled in the crook of her neck. They remained still until their bodies demanded that release be granted.
He heard their “soul” song in his head and began to move. He sensed that she heard it as well as she moved in tandem with him. The violins and piano began a steady crescendo as the symphony swelled nearing its completion. Joseph swore he heard cymbals as they came and he enjoyed the peaceful look that now transfixed his beloved’s face as the music faded slowly away.
He moved off of her and pulled her back into the original spoon position they started in. Neither said anything for awhile. She finally rolled over so she was looking at him, “Damn you, Joseph.”
He didn’t speak. He waited to let her speak the words that needed to be said.
“I could have gone on living my life the way it was. I wasn’t happy, but I could have lived with the hand that life had dealt me. I had suppressed that side of me for so long I forgot it existed. But this…” she gestured with her hand to their entwined bodies on the bed, “….I don’t know how to do this…How am I supposed to go back to Genovia and pretend that nothing happened that I am the same Queen that left a few weeks ago. That seems a lifetime ago, Joseph. What am I to do?”
He didn’t know what to say. He replied quietly, “I don’t have all of the answers, Clarisse. I do hope that you don’t try to pretend that nothing happened…I don’t think that either of us will be very successful at that. All I can say is that we will find a way. Will it be the same as it has been here in California? Probably not…but we’re resourceful, we’ll find a way. Our song will not be easily silenced. One must keep hope that someday our love will be able to come out of the shadows and that you will be free to love and be loved.”
She closed her eyes and nodded slightly, “I hope so, Joseph. I truly hope.”
They both tried to sleep after that; but the fear of the future loomed over them. Despite brave words, the path ahead of them would be filled with many obstacles and absent of many opportunities to be truly together. Joseph started humming and singing softly the song that he kept hearing in his head when he was with her. After several minutes, he felt her relax as she listened to the soft music. Before long, her breathing was deep and even and she was sleeping. Feeling her at peace, he allowed the song in his head to lull him to sleep as well.
When he awoke in the morning, she was gone. There was a note neatly folded on the pillow that her head had recently occupied. He opened it and smiled as he read the words she had penned sometime in the early morning hours:
There’s a song that’s inside of my soul
One that I’ve tried to write over and over again
My soul is awake in the infinite cold
But you sing to me bringing peace I’ve never known
So I lay my head back down
And I will lift my hands and pray
To be only yours someday
To be only yours I know now
You’re my only hope
Sing to me the song of the stars
Of your galaxy, dancing and laughing again
When it feels like my dreams are so far away
Sing to me of the plans that you have for me over again
I give you my destiny
I want to give you all of me
I want your symphony
Singing in all that I am
I know now you’re my only hope
He vowed right then that he would make this work. He would continue to provide his secret service singing to her over and over again until their song could be heard by everyone. Because he knew now a life with her - was his only hope.