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!!
As an A/N, I took a little creative license and had Joseph return with the Queen and then go back to get Amelia, rather than having him stay until Mia came for the summer...it just worked better for my story *grin*
Thanks to Gina for her encouragement throughout this entire chapter (I'd still be stuck back at the beginning if it weren't for her getting me past the writer's block!)
And to Susan for her amazing beta work and for, once again, straightening my tenses out!!
Chapter 7: Free to Love
A single tear slipped out of his eye as he remembered that night. Damn if that woman didn’t bring out his softer side. Some tough head of security he had turned out to be when poetry made him cry.
He remembered the night they had arrived back in Genovia...
They had been the last two to get off of the plane. She had turned toward him with a sad smile, touched his cheek and said, “Don’t lose hope, Joseph.”
He had leaned in to her touch, fearing that it would be the last he would receive for a while, “Never, mi zorra, never.”
He remembered watching with amazement as she took a deep breath and the “Queen” mask descended over her soft features. Seeing the change in her face before she had descended the steps of Genovia One, he had worried that she might really try to pretend that the last few weeks had not happened. But then he had smiled to himself as he realized he had a new ally in his quest…Clarisse, the woman. The woman who had shared several passionate interludes with him over the past few weeks; she would be fighting against the protocols of the Queen for him. And, knowing her now as he did, he knew she would not go quietly into the dark night. Clarisse would not allow herself to be denied again the emotions and experiences to which she had now been awakened. Yes, she would be a definite advocate for him.
Those first few weeks had been difficult. They both had been extremely busy trying to catch up after being away for an extended period of time. Although Clarisse had tried to keep up on the paperwork, she had learned that you just couldn’t run a country remotely, no matter how valiantly you and your aide tried.
Between the long hours, the endless meetings, and the media frenzy over Princess Mia accepting her place in the Renaldi monarchy, there had hardly been two seconds of rest for the Queen and her Head of Security. Just when things had settled down to the normal chaos, Joseph had returned to America to bring Mia back for her first summer in Genovia.
Her visit had required even more of their time. He had continued to wait patiently for his opportunity for some alone time with Clarisse. With each day, she had seemed to look a little more tired and withdrawn. He had suspected that she was not sleeping well, because neither was he.
Finally, an opportunity had presented itself and he had taken full advantage of it. He smiled as he remembered that night…
She walked into the small dining room that seated six comfortably, although there would only be four guests dining tonight. Her Majesty had invited the Prime Minister and his wife, Sheila to dine with herself and Mia. She thought it would be a good opportunity for him to get to know the future Queen and to enlist his assistance in helping Mia win over the people of Genovia. Charlotte would be hovering in the shadows along with Joseph and Shades ensuring all went well with the evening.
The dinner was progressing smoothly when Joseph decided to make his move. He pretended to get a message through his earpiece and excused himself. He noticed Clarisse’s eyes following him as he left, but she didn’t miss a beat in her conversation with her guests.
He waited an appropriate amount of time before re-entering the room and interrupting, “Excuse me, your Majesty?”
She turned toward him, smiling, “Yes, Joseph.”
“Begging your pardon, but there is an important phone call for you.” He smoothly lied.
She seemed a bit shocked, as did Charlotte, that there would be an important phone call for her at this hour; but she trusted Joseph, so she stood and said, “If you’ll excuse me?”
Sebastian stood out of respect, “Of course, your Majesty. We’ll try to save some dessert for you!”
Everyone laughed as Joseph led her from the room. Once outside the doors, Joseph continued to lead her down the hallway. She didn’t say a word as she was focused on who could be calling and what crises would now demand her attention. Just as he opened the door to another room, he clasped her hand and pulled her quickly inside.
He shut the door and then grabbed her other hand, pulling them above her head. Before she could register what was happening, he sandwiched her between his body and the wall, his mouth descending hungrily on hers. His kiss smothered the surprised squeal that emitted from her throat. Her body was tense at first; but he was persistent and remembered exactly how she liked to be kissed. He felt her softening as she allowed her body to mold to his. Sensing her participation in the kiss, he let his hands slide down her arms, his hands brushing against the side of her breasts. Her moan from his touch prompted him further. His hands moved in between their bodies to cup her breasts and massage them through the material of her dress.
She broke the kiss to cry, “Oh god…Joseph. Ahhh…what…mmm…are you…oh yes…doing?”
He buried his face in her neck as he placed hard kisses along her collar bone, eliciting even more sounds of pleasure, “Just warming up my instrument…it’s been too long since I’ve been allowed to play. I don’t want to get rusty!”
His reference to ‘playing his instrument’ brought back a flood of memories from their first night shared in his bed and she felt the now familiar tingling surfacing in her abdomen and below. Before she got too lost in those thoughts, she asked, “Joseph…the phone call, remember?”
He smiled, “A ruse, I’m afraid, to get you out of the room.”
She seemed slightly annoyed, “Joseph! I have guests!”
He responded by claiming her mouth again and moving his hands lower to cup her bottom and pull her even further into his embrace. Her body betrayed her as she nearly melted into his kiss. “I know, Clarisse, but this was all I could think of. I only wanted a few moments of your time. I’ve missed you…I’ve missed this.” He emphasized his point by nibbling and then sucking on her earlobe.
Clarisse was glad he was supporting the bulk of her weight as she was not sure she could stand of her own volition, “I’ve missed you too.” She sighed as she laid her head on his shoulder, “But I really do have to get back to my guests…I’m sorry.”
He sighed as well as he lifted her head and stroked her slightly swollen lips with his thumb, “I understand and I’m sorry I lied. I just wanted a few moments alone with you just to remind you that I’m still willing to serve Her Majesty.” He let his hand drift from her face to lightly caress her exposed cleavage with the back of his hand. Her sharp intake of breath indicated to him that she still wanted his service as well.
Her eyes were closed as she forced her body back into submission, “If you can find a way, Joseph, where there is no chance we will be seen or heard, I promise you the Queen and Clarisse still require your services.” She opened her eyes to look intently into his, reaching up to cup his cheek and return the gentle caress with her thumb.
He bowed slightly into her touch, “Your wish is my command. Remember, don’t lose hope.”
Her smile radiated to the very depths of his soul, “Never, Joseph…never!” She took a deep breath, feeling re-energized from the TLC she had received and knowing that Joseph would find a way to get them alone…and soon! “So, one last kiss before you escort me back to my guests.”
“It will be my pleasure.” His hands rested lightly at her sides and then moved upwards, stopping only to allow his thumbs to create small circles of intense pleasure around the highly sensitized nipples.
“Oh Joseph…I said a kiss…” Her weak protests hardly registered on either of their radars.
His hands continued up, again raising her arms above her head…holding them there while his mouth gently caressed her everywhere except where she wanted it most. “Joseph, please…”
His mouth finally came to rest over hers. She tried to deepen the kiss, but he pulled back some, keeping the touch light. His tongue gently traced her mouth and then he pulled her bottom lip into his mouth, sucking gently. He fought his own inner desire to completely possess her mouth; but he wanted to leave her panting for more. He knew that keeping her intrigued and wanting would be his ticket to ensure she made time for them. Finally he released her hands and stepped back, offering his arm to escort her back to dinner, “If you’re ready, your Majesty?” He smiled as he watched her give him the “glare” to which he was becoming accustomed.
She noticed the twinkle in his eyes and realized what he was doing. She straightened her hair and dress, checking that everything was in its proper place and buying some time for her heart to calm to a semi-normal rate, “Oh you’ll pay for that, Joseph. Just remember that two can play at your game.” She took the hand he offered and they made their way back to the dining room.
She caught sight of herself in a mirror as they walked. She noticed that her face and skin were flushed and that she looked like a woman who had just been thoroughly kissed. As they arrived at the door, she stopped him, “Just a moment, please?” She took his hand that she was holding and raised it to her mouth. She placed a gentle kiss on it; but before he could pull his hand back, thinking the kiss was finished, she took one of his fingers into her mouth and sucked hard on it. She let her tongue swirl slightly around the digit as she removed it. She smiled in triumph at the look that crossed his face at her actions. It also garnered the response from his body that she was looking for as she noticed that his trousers were a bit more confined than they had been just a few moments ago. “I won’t be the only one flustered when we go back in, now will I?”
He just smiled as he shook his head, “You never cease to amaze me, mi zorra.”
She beamed at his compliment for just a moment before taking a deep breath and, once again, willing the Queen to return to finish the dinner. Joseph opened the door for her, careful to keep one hand strategically placed in front of his body.
She glided in the room and sat back down uttering her apologies to her guests. She was grateful that only dessert and then perhaps tea remained for the evening. She tried to focus on the conversation, but she and Joseph kept stealing very subtle glances at each other which made it very difficult for her to think of anything except his kisses.
A voice broke through into her thoughts, “Grandma, are you alright? Who was on the phone?”
Clarisse had put the “smile and nod” face on as she was pretending to listen intently to the conversation going on around her muttering an occasional ‘mmhmm’ or ‘I see…’ as it seemed appropriate. It wasn’t until Mia questioned her again that the insistence of the voice broke through her reverie.
She pulled herself from the mire of her thoughts, “Yes, Amelia? What is it, dear? There’s certainly no reason to raise your voice.”
Mia looked at her grandmother incredulously and smiled, “Well, perhaps, if you had answered me the first time…I wouldn’t have had to raise my voice.”
Clarisse flushed, slightly embarrassed that she had been caught day-dreaming, “I apologize, my dear, my thoughts were elsewhere. What did you need?”
Mia had a slightly bewildered expression on her face as she had never seen her Grandmother appear flustered, “I asked if you were alright and who was on the phone…”
“Oh…” she faltered for just a split second trying to come up with a plausible explanation for her whereabouts while she supposedly was taking an important phone call. “It was your Uncle Pierre.”
Her statement thrilled Mia as she had yet to meet her Uncle and as she expressed her excitement, shock and surprise covered Charlotte’s face. Joseph just grinned slightly to himself as he watched the events unfold between Mia and Clarisse. Unfortunately, he had missed Charlotte’s expression…an oversight which would cost him later that night…
The remainder of the dinner passed without incident. Clarisse explained that Pierre had called, excited about the news of Mia accepting the formal role of Princess and future Queen of Genovia. She used his excitement as well to explain her flushed appearance as she rejoiced along with him about Mia’s decision. She further explained that she was distracted with thoughts of Pierre and how much she missed him. Her explanations seemed to appease everyone at the dinner table; but the one person closest to the Queen knew she was spinning a tale.
Joseph escorted Clarisse to her suite and after receiving a stern lecture about never doing anything like that again, she bid him goodnight with a smile and wished him sweet dreams. He was on his way back to his suite when he rounded a corner and came face to face with a less than pleased Charlotte. “Good evening, Charlotte. Is everything alright?”
Her arms were crossed and she seemed very upset, “No, Joe, everything is not alright.”
Still unaware of where she was headed with this conversation, he took the bait, “Anything I can do to help?”
“You can start by explaining where the Queen was tonight and why she lied about it.”
It was Joseph’s turn to be flustered now, “I’m not sure I follow, Charlotte.”
Now she was getting angry, “Pierre has been and continues to be visiting a monastery in Tibet. There are NO phones there, Joseph. I spoke with him over a week ago when he advised me that he would be out of touch until next week. There is no way it could have been him on the phone tonight. So I ask again…where did you take Her Majesty and why did she lie about it?”
Joseph fought the urge to run his fingers through his modest fringe of hair. He had no idea how to handle this. If he told Charlotte their secret and Clarisse found out…well, that would not be pleasant and he was certain she would call an end to things. If he tried to lie…he didn’t think he could come up with a believable enough lie on such short notice. He definitely had not thought this whole thing through…he had acted on impulse and now both he and Clarisse had paid for it. Keeping their secret was much harder than he had ever imagined…
Charlotte remained rooted to the spot on the floor, unmovable in her quest to get to the bottom of tonight’s events. He took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly and made what was probably one of the most important decisions in his life, “Would you like to have some tea with me so we can talk about it?”
His question threw her off-guard, “OK, but I’m not leaving until I have an answer.” She indicated as she followed him towards the kitchen.
As they walked down the hall, Joseph sent up silent prayers that he would find the right words to say to the woman who was friend and confidante to the Queen. They made their way to the kitchen and the tea was prepared in silence. Once they both were seated at the table, Charlotte looked at him expectantly.
“I’m not sure where to start,” he offered.
Charlotte’s reply was prompt, “Well, as Her Majesty always says…start at the beginning, it’s a very nice place to start.”
Joseph chuckled a bit as he had heard her say that often, “OK, fair enough. The start begins with a terrible mistake - I made the mistake of falling for the one woman I could never have. It began to get complicated, though, when I discovered…quite by accident…that there was a possibility she may hold the same feelings for me.” He took a deep breath, carefully watching Charlotte’s face for her reactions as he continued to share his secret.
“It all started with a simple observation, followed by a dance.”
Recognition dawned on Charlotte’s face as she interjected, “In San Francisco, after the Princess’ dance lesson, right?”
It was Joseph’s turn to be shocked now, “I…but…how could you know? I thought we were alone.”
A blush crept over Charlotte’s face, “I saw you both when I came into the ballroom to ask Her Majesty a question; but I backed out of the room unnoticed. And Joe…you should know better, the Queen is rarely alone.”
Joseph chuckled at her statement, “Oh believe me, Charlotte…I am acutely aware of that fact; which leads me to the rest of the story…”
As Joseph continued his sharing, both he and Charlotte were so engrossed in their conversation that neither noticed that the Queen had been about to enter the kitchen when she heard her name, or rather her title being mentioned in conjunction with being alone. She stopped cold in her tracks as she heard Joseph and Charlotte speaking quietly. She moved back into the shadows to listen to what they were saying.
Joseph continued, “We began to make the transition from solely an employer-employee relationship to that of real friends. With a great degree of difficulty we found some alone time to try to truly get to know one another.”
Clarisse’s heart stopped beating for a moment…surely he wouldn’t tell Charlotte of their trysts and sexual escapades? She would have him hung in the courtyard by his…well certainly not his toes if he was the kind of man who would kiss and tell. He wasn’t that kind of man, was he? She continued to listen to determine if her trust had been misplaced…
“After spending some time getting to know the woman behind the Queen, I found that my feelings continued to deepen. I had always known she was an amazing Queen and leader; but through our time spent together in California, I have been honored to meet and become friends with the amazing woman that is Clarisse. I found that I searched for ways in California to spend time alone with her. I have come to realize since returning to Genovia how precious that time was.”
Clarisse had tears welling up in her eyes as she heard him speak so tenderly of their relationship. She was still not entirely pleased that he was sharing this with Charlotte; but she was going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he had a very…VERY good reason for doing so.
“Which brings me to my answer and explanation that you requested earlier regarding the Queen’s whereabouts tonight...since returning, there has been absolutely no privacy. Between being thrust back in the public eye, running a country, the endless meetings and preparations for Amelia’s arrival, training, and departure back to America in a few days, our quality time has vanished. And…” he took a deep breath before continuing, “while I spend time with the Queen everyday, I miss Clarisse terribly. The way her eyes sparkle when she laughs, the soft expression on her face as she talks about her family, and the way I can see straight into her soul to feel the connection we now share.”
Charlotte interrupted, “You don’t need to say anything more, Joe. I understand.” She was feeling guilty about having forced him to tell her anything in the first place. She should have known that Joe only had the Queen’s best interests at heart with everything he did.
“It’s alright, I’ll finish. I owe you that. For the record, I am sorry that I caught you off guard. I know you see it as your duty to be aware of everything involving the Queen and her responsibilities. I’m sure thinking she had an important phone call tonight of which you were unaware did not settle well. Please know that Her Majesty had no idea of my intentions. I’m afraid that I took matters in my own hands to spirit her away for just a few moments alone with her. If it’s any consolation, when she learned of my ruse, she was less than pleased.”
Charlotte chuckled a bit, but then sobered immediately as she offered, “I’m sure she was glad that you went to such extremes for even a few moments shared with her what woman wouldn’t be pleased with that? She was just torn between her duty to herself and her duties as Queen.”
“Ah yes, and therein lies the challenge.” he responded quietly.
Clarisse was just about to leave, feeling she had overstepped her bounds by eavesdropping for so long…as she certainly did not approve of such behavior from others, when she heard Charlotte ask…
“So have you told her you love her?” Her question was sincere and full of caring for her employer, friend, and Queen.
Clarisse held her breath awaiting his response…would he confess his love for her? They had never spoken the words…but she truly believed that he loved her…anxiously, she waited…
“No it’s not possible.” There was sadness in his answer that caused Charlotte’s heart to ache for both him and the Queen.
If Charlotte’s heart was aching, Clarisse’s was breaking. How could it not be possible for him to love her? Her tears of joy quickly turned to tears of sorrow. She fought to control the sob that was threatening to escape from deep in her soul as it would surely give away her hidden position. So intent was her suffering that she almost…almost missed what he said next.
“It’s not possible, because it wouldn’t be fair to her.”
Both Charlotte and Clarisse broke from their inner thoughts at his words. Charlotte, fortunately, asked the question that Clarisse could not, “I’m afraid I don’t understand. You…”
He interrupted before she could finish, “She is not free to love me at least not right now. I won’t burden her with another perceived responsibility. I’m a fairly patient man and I hold out the hope that someday we will be free to love each other. Until that day when I can bring our love out of the shadows, I shall serve and love Her Majesty in secret.”
Of course Charlotte didn’t realize what he meant by his secret service; but Clarisse did and her heart warmed at the thought that Joseph was not going to give up on them-their song would go on. She let out the breath she didn’t realize she had been holding and began to make her way back to her suite. As Joseph’s words played over in her mind, she felt warm all over. She decided that this must be what it felt like to truly love someone else. As her thoughts continued, she thought about all Joseph had taught her about herself…about her needs as a woman and the way he had introduced her to the ‘zorra’ that resided deep within her psyche. At that precise moment in time, that part of her psyche became active and she had some wonderful thoughts about how she could have some fun role playing, as he had taught her, with Joseph to teach him a lesson about sharing such secrets…even if it was for a good reason.
***24 hours later approximately 10 p.m. 2 days before Joseph is to escort the Princess back to America***
Joseph had just settled into his suite after making his final rounds for the evening. He was relieved that things had gone well today. The Queen had behaved normally around him all day so he felt confident she had forgiven him for whisking her away during dinner and putting her in an uncomfortable situation with her guests upon her return. Charlotte had also been behaving normally. Knowing how she had trouble with being less than honest with her Queen, he had been impressed with how she carried on without so much as a hint of her new knowledge. Apparently she was better at sins of omission rather than commission, he mused.
A knock on the door revealed one of the footmen assigned to stand guard at the Queen’s quarters during the night shift. “Good evening, sir.”
“Good evening, Jared.”
“The Queen summons you to her private quarters. Please follow me.”
Joseph was a bit surprised but figured this was Clarisse’s way of getting some quality time before he left for America with Amelia. He wasn’t sure how much privacy they would be afforded, however, with a footman at the door and the ladies’ maids just one suite down the hall. The Queen’s suite was not highly sound proof for security reasons; but at this point, with only about 36 hours left before he was to be away for three weeks, he would take what he could get.
Jared opened the door for him and then left him alone as he resumed his post outside the suite. The suite was fairly dark but he heard her voice call from the other room, “Joseph? Is that you?”
“Yes. Where are you?”
“In the bathroom.”
It struck him as odd that she would summon him and then be in the bathroom; but he decided this could be fun. “Would you like me to come in?”
Her voice sounded strange as she responded, “I wouldn’t have summoned you if I didn’t.”
He was thrown off slightly by her tone, so he responded, “Of course not. I’ll be right in.”
Nothing could have prepared him for the sight that awaited him when he stepped inside the room that held the Queen’s bath. The lights dimmed several candles had been lit throughout the large room. The Queen was in her bath, which was filled with bubbles. Her head was relaxed against a soft pillow and the fragrance of lavender and rose filled the air. His blood began to circulate through his veins at a rapid pace as he imagined the experience they could share together in that bathtub. He was allowing the fantasies to run rampant through his mind when her voice cut through his reverie. “Joseph!”
He realized at that point that she had been speaking and he had not heard a word which she had said. “I’m sorry. I was distracted. Could you please repeat that?”
Her voice was that tone again, “I asked if you were no longer in the habit of bowing in the presence of your Queen?”
Now he was shocked, “Your Majesty?”
He heard her sigh…but not the contented sigh he was accustomed to; but rather a sigh of annoyance. “Do you feel that your familiarity with the Queen allows you not to show proper respect to her?”
The candles were arranged so he could not quite make out her face as it was concealed in the shadows. He had no choice but to rely on her voice to gauge his responses. “Of course not, your Majesty. Please forgive me.” With great care, he knelt before her and lowered his head.
Clarisse was grateful for the candles which hid her eyes from his view. Otherwise, he might have seen the twinkle present in them as she teased him. She let him stew for a few minutes before she stated, “You may rise.”
“Yes, your Majesty.” He stood, still not believing this was happening. She had given no indication of being angry with him earlier today…what could have happened to kindle her anger against him in such a short period of time? He could think of only one thing…Charlotte. The Queen’s final meeting of the day had been with Charlotte. She must have said something that led Clarisse to know that he had shared at least some of their secret with her. His heart dropped into his stomach as he feared the worst would happen tonight. Again, her voice broke through the haze of his confusion, “Joseph! I tire of having to ask you twice for everything.”
That got his attention and he forced his focus back to her direction. Before he could respond, she sat up slightly which caused the bubbles to slide down her ample breasts to the water waiting below. His body reacted instantly and he was embarrassed that she was angry with him and all he could do was fantasize about touching her.
That tone again, “Or do you only wish to serve your Queen when it brings you pleasure?”
That got his attention, “Absolutely not, your Majesty. I will serve my Queen always…for it is only through service to her that I may find any pleasure. What may I do to serve you this evening?” Even though his grasp on reality was slipping, the years spent in service to his Queen were kicking in and he was functioning on auto-pilot for the moment. He wanted to do whatever necessary to remove her displeasure with him.
“I asked you to hand me my razor and the cream.”
“Of course, your Majesty.” He moved quickly to retrieve the items and began to move back to his original position.
“No. Stay here beside me. I may require more assistance.”
He swallowed hard. Being this close to Clarisse and watching her complete even these most mundane tasks, would prove very difficult to keep his body from betraying him, “As you wish.”
He focused his eyes on a point the opposite direction of her location.
“I want you to watch, Joseph.” Her voice broke just a bit. She was trying so hard not to laugh. He was definitely squirming. She decided she liked being in the power position occasionally in their role playing. She generally preferred to let him take the lead as she had to be the decision maker in practically every other facet of her life; she was happy to defer that job to him most of the time in their lovemaking. Tonight, though, she was experimenting with their play and she found that she enjoyed it.
He glanced quizzically down at her as he heard the slightest hint in her tone that she may actually be teasing him. By the time he worked up the courage to really focus on her face in the semi-darkness, she had composed herself and had assumed the annoyed look again. He sighed, “Of course, your Majesty.”
His heart began to beat wildly as her leg emerged from beneath the bubbly cover. The scented oils she had used to provide fragrance created a soft sheen on her legs which, when reflected in the candle light, made her appear as though her body was made of the finest satin. His breath quickened as she drew the razor over her leg time and time again. He envisioned his hands in its place, caressing and smoothing the skin all the way from her ankle to the sensitive strip where her hip joined her pelvis. It took every ounce of training in proper behavior he had received in his sixty plus years not to reach out and touch her.
He heard her request the soap and he promptly retrieved it. He made one attempt at getting the opportunity to touch her, “Would her Majesty require assistance in washing her back?” he offered.
The reply was quick and pointed, “She does not.” Out of the corner of her eye, she could just make out the bulge in his pants that was growing with each move she made. It took every ounce of her will power and restraint not to pull him into the tub with her and let him do all the things to her body she knew he was fantasizing about as he watched her. She forced herself, however, to finish what she had started. She knew that the reward would be well worth the temporary abatement of pleasure she was experiencing right now.
He followed the path of her bath sponge, not daring to take his eyes off of every glistening inch of flesh that it traversed. When she stood and asked for her towel, she resembled a goddess ascending from the depths to take her place in dominion over love-sick souls such as him. He would have given everything to be transformed into her towel as it was currently being afforded the privilege of touching every breathtaking inch of her soft body. By the time he came back to his senses, she had donned a satin robe which was tied very loosely at the waist and clung erotically to her still damp body. She moved so she was standing shoulder to shoulder with him, but facing the opposite direction. She spoke softly but with definitely authority, “Let’s be clear on one very important thing, shall we?”
His voice was husky and thick with desire as he kept his face forward, but softly responded, “Anything her Majesty wishes or desires at this point shall be granted without hesitation.”
She smiled, “It is not your decision on what responsibilities, perceived or otherwise, to burden me with. Is that clear?”
He paled at her statement…Charlotte had to have betrayed his trust…just as he had betrayed Clarisse’s by sharing at least part of their secret. “Crystal clear, your Majesty.” Before he could apologize, she interjected.
“No matter how well intentioned your motives may be.” Her tone then changed and took on a light…almost cheerful tone. She turned his face towards hers and smiled that brilliant smile she used when she had just emerged successful from an important trade negotiation. “Now I would say that restitution has been made for your transgression, wouldn’t you?”
A multitude of emotions washed over him at that moment…relief, surprise, and admiration. She had been playing him…the entire time! She apparently was a quick study about the games that lovers play. His smile and shaking of his head told her that he knew she got him. “Yes, mi zorra, the punishment was fitting for the crime and I am pleased that restitution is now complete.”
She touched his cheek; but still maintained her distance. He got the message…there would be no pleasure in that way for him tonight…restitution was not quite full. “I suggest that, as you have less than thirty-six hours now before you leave for America with my granddaughter, you put that creative mind of yours to work and find a way for us to have some…shall we say…quality time before you go.”
“I shall lay awake tonight creating such a plan. Of that, you can be assured.” He was pleased that things were back to ‘normal’…if one can call having a relationship under the parameters they were being required to operate within normal.
He started to leave but had to ask just one question, “How did you know, Clarisse?” He was certain Charlotte had told her; but wanted to have confirmation before he confronted her about it.
She just smiled as she started towards her bedroom, “The maids aren’t the only ones who know everything, my dear. Good night.”
He laughed as he made his way to the door, “Apparently not, your Majesty. Sweet dreams. Rest well…you’re going to need it for the plans I have in store for you.”
He felt much better and more confident as he made his way to his suite. He would deal with Charlotte in the morning and use her guilt over telling the Queen his secret to elicit her help in finding a way for him to be alone with ‘mi zorra’!
**The next morning…24 hours before Mia and Joseph are to depart for America**
“I’m telling you, Charlotte, she knows about our conversation in the kitchen!” Joseph reiterated as he and Charlotte were having a rather loud, “hushed” conversation outside the meeting room of Parliament. The Queen was in the session at present time, so Joseph had taken the opportunity to confront Charlotte about her alleged indiscretion.
Charlotte sighed, “And I keep telling you, Joe, I said nothing! I did nothing! She was fine when she left our final meeting yesterday.”
He watched her face intently. The Queen was right, Charlotte was no good at lying and she was, as much as he hated to admit it, telling the truth. “Ok, I believe you. But you still have to help me…”
Her arms crossed and a smile on her face, she teased, “Oh I do, do I?”
He put his arm around her shoulders and led her away from their waiting place by the doors of Parliament, “Yes. You do!” He lowered his voice to a whisper, “So here’s what we’re going to do…”
**Later that evening**
“Are you ready, Clarisse? It’s going to be dark before long.” Joseph stood just inside the Queen’s suite, waiting for her to finish getting ready.
She stepped from her dressing room in a peasant skirt that fell just above her knees and a white cotton blouse that had more tiny buttons that Joseph cared to even try to count. His face registered his disbelief, “Clarisse? Are you serious?”
She feigned hurt, “What? You don’t like it? Why, Joseph, I’m hurt. Perhaps I should just spend the evening with Amelia?”
“It looks beautiful…it’s just…” he smiled, more worried about the number of buttons on her blouse than the skirt, “it’s an outfit suitable for a Queen…it’s absolutely beautiful and very appropriate for a summer outing. And, as you know, Charlotte is whisking her highness away for a fun-filled final evening in Genovia.”
She eyed him suspiciously, feeling that perhaps he and Charlotte had been in cahoots on this outing. Nonetheless, a quiet evening with Joseph, wherever he may take her, sounded like a wonderful diversion in her otherwise busy life. She smiled at him, “Indeed. Shall we go?”
He extended his arm to escort her to the garage. He opened the door to the sporty, black Jaguar. She raised one eyebrow as she moved into the front seat, “A Jaguar, Joseph?”
He simply shrugged, “You and Amelia prefer Mustangs…I prefer Jaguars.”
She smiled at his reference to her love of the wild horses that she bred and also to Amelia’s car that she referred to as ‘her baby’. He closed the door and then entered on the driver’s side and they began to make their way through the streets of Genovia.
Once outside the city limits, Joseph decided to start taking advantage of the situation and let his hand rest on her knee. She responded by slightly separating her legs to allow his fingers to rest comfortably on her leg. He needed no further prompting and slowly pushed her skirt up, letting his hand smooth over the entire length of her thigh as he moved the material. He was rewarded with her sharp intake of breath and tiny bumps arising on her flesh as his hand journeyed higher. “May I say how wonderfully smooth your legs are? And, based on my experience last night, I know there is a great deal of effort involved in making them that way. Although, had you just asked, I would have been happy to help…” he threw a wicked smile in her direction.
A flush covered her features as she remembered her actions of last night, she fought for composure has his fingers lightly caressed her inner thigh, “Perhaps next time I shall let you assist me further now that you know how it should be done.”
He chuckled, “Oh believe me, I was paying rapt attention to everything you were doing. I am certain that I could perform that service to perfection.”
She thought of Joseph sharing a tub with her, shaving her legs; a small moan escaped at the pleasure that thought engendered. She moved in the seat trying to bring his touch closer to her now throbbing center. “How long until we get to wherever we are going?” She asked the anticipation clearly evident in her voice.
“It will be a bit. I believe I was challenged with finding a private place where no one would see or hear us. With you being the Queen and all, that turned out to be quite a formidable task.” he teased.
She glanced his direction to make sure he was still teasing; she wasn’t sure how long any normal person could keep up with the demands a relationship with her would require. “I know, Joseph and I am sorry about that…”
He became serious for a moment as well, “Never apologize for who you are. I knew exactly what I was getting into when I pledged my secret service to you; and, besides,” his smile returned, “I am just the man for the job. You’ll see…”
She relaxed and closed her eyes as his fingers began dancing lightly across her exposed flesh, occasionally grazing over the lace of her undergarment. Before she allowed herself to become completely lost in his touch, she simply said, “I hope so, Joseph…I hope.”
Once they were about a half an hour away from the destination, he increased his attention to the gentle massage he had been giving her. He had been gently caressing her legs and inner thighs, only occasionally caressing her center. She had become quite comfortable and relaxed and that was definitely not in his plans for her tonight. Without preamble he slipped his fingers under the lacy garment and began to massage her clit. That got her attention…her eyes flashed open and before she could say anything, he increased the pressure resulting in her only being able to vocalize an “Ahh…Joseph…” as her body began to move under his touch.
He waited until she came close to the edge and then he pulled his hand away and resumed the gentle caressing of her thighs. She found her voice, although it was breathy, “Joseph?” The one word question said everything she needed.
He smiled, but kept his eyes on the road, “Yes, Clarisse? Was there something you needed?”
“I…well…” she exhaled slowly, she was not about to ask for “that”…well at least not yet, “no, I’m fine.”
“Good! We should arrive in about fifteen minutes. Why don’t you try to relax?” he offered, trying desperately to keep from laughing.
She started to make a smart reply, but decided against it. Instead she leaned her head back against the headrest and tried to take his advice to relax. He waited about five more minutes and then slipped under her panties again. His strokes were steady and sure and brought her rapidly from her relaxed state. Her hands gripped the arm rests even as her body betrayed her. Not having Joseph’s touch for over three weeks had left her a victim to her own body’s desires and needs. She had no choice but to respond and she was unable or unwilling to voice her objection to his most brazen touch.
He continued to watch her out of the corner of his eye and ensured that his touch did not allow her the release she was beginning to crave. He fully intended to stoke her fire until she came with such a burning desire that she knew only of him and his love for her. He allowed himself the small pleasure of slipping one finger into her hot, wet depths.
She felt his finger slip inside of her touching the innermost part of her core. She inhaled sharply as her coil of nerves began to wind tighter and tighter. Just as she thought the wire would break apart from the tension, he withdrew his finger, leaving her feeling empty and unfulfilled. She looked in his direction and began to ask him what the meaning of all of this teasing was, when he spoke, “We’re here.”
She tried to gather her composure, but felt it slip even further as he placed the digit he had just removed…the same one she had drawn into her mouth and sucked on the other night before returning to the dinner…and drew it into his mouth with one swift motion. His eyes were closed as he enjoyed the taste of her juices. Watching him, her body responded as though he were sucking on any number of her sensitive body parts at the same time. She was unsure how much more of this she could take…”Joseph, please. Can we get out of the car now?” She asked with a flustered voice. She needed to breathe some fresh air as the atmosphere in the Jag was now filled with sexual tension.
He smiled as he got out and opened the door for her. He loved the flushed look on her face as she took his hand and stepped out of the car. She stood there enjoying the fresh air as he opened the trunk to reveal several items he had brought along for their outing.
“Your shoes, please.”
She turned at his request, “I beg your pardon?”
He grinned as he knew she was going to fight him on this. “I asked for your shoes. We’re going for a walk through the forest; and I’m afraid that you are not wearing shoes that are made for that. As beautiful as those strappy sandals are on your feet…they are not conducive to walking on uneven terrain.”
She held her head high as she responded, “Queens do not go barefoot, Joseph!”
His grin grew into a chuckle, “No. I’m sure they don’t. However, I bet Clarisse does…or would love to experience some adventure and feel the soft, summer grass under her feet. Don’t you?”
She battled with her inner child for a moment; but in the end decided that it couldn’t hurt. She opened the door of the car and sat on the seat as she removed the sandals. “Fine. But if I hurt myself or stub my toe, I’ll have you know that you will have to carry me for the remainder of the journey AND explain to everyone that it was your fault the Queen is hurt.”
He sported a solemn look just for her and put his hand on his heart, “It shall be my honor to do both, Your Majesty.”
With both of their shoes being left in the trunk and the pack and other supplies securely fastened to Joseph, he took her hand and began to lead her into the forest. After walking for about thirty minutes, she asked, “You do know where you’re going, right? It’s starting to get dark.”
He smiled at her as they continued to walk, squeezing her hand to reassure her. About five minutes later, just as dusk was descending, they emerged in a clearing. Clarisse stopped short as she took in her surroundings. The small meadow was surrounded on all sides by trees. There were some wild flowers sprinkled throughout the area that helped to create the illusion of a picturesque fantasy. But the sky…it was simply breathtaking. Everything seemed so clear in the night sky the stars appeared as bright jewels against the dark blue horizon. “Oh Joseph, it’s beautiful.”
He leaned in and whispered, “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 the plans that you have for me over again. I brought you here to remind you of the plans that we have, Clarisse; and, to make sweet love to you under the stars.”
His breath was hot against her neck as he spoke and he could feel her shiver as he whispered. He asked, “Are you cold?”
Her eyes were clouded with desire as she moved in to kiss him. Her kiss was heated and passionate as she sought to release the tension that had been growing in her since yesterday evening. Finally breaking the kiss, she asked, “Do I seem cold to you?”
“Anything but, my dear…” They moved quickly to unload the supplies and spread the cushioned mat and blankets he had brought along on the ground. Once the task was complete, she was in his arms again. The warmth of the summer night, the beauty of their surroundings it was truly a perfect night.
As they descended to the makeshift bed, their hands and lips sought to make up for lost time. Both had felt the physical loss of touch over the past weeks and were anxious to feel that connection again. Joseph reverently lowered her skirt, allowing his hands to skim down her long, beautiful legs. When he finished, he straddled her lower body and pulled his t-shirt off. He started working on the buttons of her blouse, but quickly became frustrated. He noted her devilish grin and stated with a growl, “You did this on purpose, didn’t you?”
Her face said what she couldn’t because of the laughter threatening to spill out. He shook his head as he smiled, “You most definitely are a vixen! However, you got your turn last night…tonight I get to be the one to decide how we play.”
She was still trying to stifle the laughter when he stretched her arms above her head. She watched as he unbuttoned the bottom ten buttons or so. Her eyes widened considerably, however, when his face donned a devilish grin as he took hold of both ends at the bottom and popped the rest of the buttons off as he pulled the material apart exposing her to his heated gaze.
“Joseph!” She started to protest; but forgot what her point was as his mouth sought hers and his hands went to work on undoing the front closure on her bra. Once his hands had accomplished their task, his mouth moved lower and his tongue sought to taste every inch of her newly exposed flesh.
As she was already in a heightened state from her activities last night and from his actions on the car ride over, he felt her body respond quickly to his touch. Her gasps and moans as he alternated between nipping lightly on her taut nipples and lavishing attention with his tongue served to heighten his arousal as well. She struggled under him to move into a position that would allow her to pull him even further into her embrace and encourage him to quench the fire that was burning steadily and being stoked even further by his touch.
“Joseph, please.” Her voice was barely above a whisper.
His straddled position over her legs afforded him the upper hand and aided him in controlling her movements. He placed his head near hers and held her arms above her head “Please what?”
Her struggle became internal as she tried to determine if she was desperate enough to give in and ask him to make love to her. While he waited, he found the tender spot on her neck and began to kiss it softly causing her to moan and angle her neck to allow him better access. Finally she could take no more of the sweet torture, “Please make love to me.”
He kissed her lips fully as his tongue plundered into the warm depths of her mouth. Clarisse allowed her tongue to dual with his as she sought an outlet for the passion that continued to mount at an alarming pace within her highly tense body. Joseph finally broke the kiss, breathing heavily, he met her gaze, “Tell me how you knew,” he asked softly.
She was confused, “How I knew what? I’m sorry, Joseph…I don’t follow”
He sat back up so he was straddled over her thighs again, a wicked smile on his face, “Last night, you knew about the conversation I had with Charlotte in the kitchen the day before; I’m confident that Charlotte didn’t tell you; because, as you know, she’s not very good at lying. So when I confronted her about it, she denied it; and, I believe her. So I’m asking…how did you know?”
Clarisse decided to try a diversionary tactic as she didn’t want to confess to Joseph that she had been eavesdropping. So she took her now freed hands and let her nails gently rake over his thighs, letting her thumbs gently caress the inner thigh as she moved up and down the portion of his leg that was accessible to her touch. She was rewarded with a sharp intake of his breath, “A girl has to have some secrets; doesn’t she, Joseph?”
He stilled her hands and then moved off of her so he was now reclining beside her. He propped his head up with one arm and used the other to begin lightly caressing her body. “Soul mates should never keep secrets; however, I’m a patient man…I can wait.” His hand moved lower to comb through her very damp curls. He was careful to keep his touch very light, just enough to be stimulating, without allowing her release.
He enjoyed watching the myriad of emotions that danced across her face, which was now bathed in moonlight. His own body was craving release as well; but, his natural curiosity was winning out for the moment. He decided to increase his efforts to “persuade” her to tell him her secret. He removed the red lace panties that were now saturated with her juices and moved so he was kneeling between her legs. His hands stroked her inner thighs as her legs parted even further to allow his touch. As he lowered his head preparing to avail himself of her sweet juices, he offered, “We have a saying in my line of work that I think would be very appropriate here.”
She lifted her head slightly to meet his gaze, “And what would that be, my diligent head of security?”
The wicked smile was back as he replied, “We have ways of making you talk…” Without further preamble, his head lowered and his mouth was on her center. His tongue accurately tasting and teasing in all the ways he knew would drive her mad with desire.
The tension that had been building in her was increasing at an alarming rate. Her body arched as she sought to bring his mouth even further into her essence. The blood was singing in her veins as her entire body ached for him. Just as she sensed that she was about to erupt into blissful rapture, his mouth lifted leaving her body screaming for more. His hands massaged her thighs as he asked, “Feeling talkative yet?”
Her hands went to her forehead as she willed her body to calm down before she replied, “You do realize, Joseph, that we are in a very remote location; and, that if I have to strangle you with my bare hands, no one will find you for months?”
He chuckled slightly at her statement; he decided rather than point out that she would then have to find her way back in the dark, he would continue his pursuit of her revelation. Not wanting to give her too much recovery time, he stated, “I’ll take that as a no and resume my interrogation.” This time his fingers separated the folds that provided shelter for the bud hiding underneath allowing his tongue unrestricted access to her most sensitive spot.
The sensations exploded through her body at his touch, “Oh god…Joseph!” Her hands went to her breasts and began to caress them as her entire body tingled and demanded attention. His tongue flattened against the tender flesh and moved in a circular motion which was the equivalent of throwing gasoline onto a lit fire; Clarisse was certain she was going to pass out from this exquisite torture to which she was being subjected.
He brought her to the brink again and again; but each time she would begin her fall over the edge, he pulled back. Finally, she could take no more; her breath was coming in short gasps as she cried out, “I was eavesdropping! I came down for tea and overheard you and Charlotte talking. It was wrong and I’m sorry…now Joseph, please!!!”
He moved over her and entered her swiftly. Both cried out from the sheer intensity of the joining. Clarisse couldn’t help but shout, “Yes!!”
Joseph adjusted his arms so they were slightly under her frame and clasping her shoulders from underneath, he thrust into her while pulling her body against his. He made love to her with his entire being, giving himself completely. This was a special gift that he shared only with her.
They were both so aroused that it didn’t take long for their desire to erupt. Clarisse was grateful for the privacy of the secluded area as her cries of ecstasy were vibrant and strong as the fire infused every pore of her being. The heat between them never failed to astonish her; and she knew that it would be a very long time before it even started, if ever, to show any sign of diminishing. Clarisse came hard and fast and Joseph was right behind her, continuing his thrusts into her body to prolong the moment for as long as possible. He finally shouted her name and collapsed onto her spent body.
After several moments, he found his voice, “Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?”
She laughed a bit, “I guess it’s all about perspective…it was agonizing; and yet it was deliriously wonderful all at the same time…” Her hands were gently caressing his back as he remained cradled in her arms and legs.
After a bit longer, she asked, “Tell me, Joseph…do you interrogate all of your prisoners that way?”
She felt the rumble in his body, rather than hear the laughter as he answered, “Only you, my dear…only you.”
“This has been wonderful thank you…for everything…I don’t want this night to end.”
He rose up slightly to look at her. Her eyes shone brightly and he knew he could get lost in the blue depths and would gladly spend a life time exploring every facet of her personality, “It’s not ending. I told you…I was the man for the job. No one is expecting us until I’m due to depart at the airport with Mia tomorrow. Charlotte has it all covered.”
He moved over to her side to allow her to sit up some; the look of disbelief on her face was priceless. “Shut up! You can’t be serious!” But one look at his face told her that he most certainly was.
“Why do you think I brought all of these supplies? It’s a warm summer night and I have blankets and even fruit and cheese for breakfast. And, of course, Charlotte will have your tea at the airport for you.”
She shook her head in disbelief, “Well you certainly have thought of everything, except…” she picked up what remained of her blouse, “I have nothing to wear as you grew rather impatient, as I recall.”
He sat up and retrieved a black t-shirt out of his bag, “It’s all taken care of…I brought an extra one just for you.” He leaned over and kissed her gently on the cheek and then whispered, “You can even hang on to it, if you like, to keep you company while I’m away…”
She brought the shirt to her face and inhaled. The scent was definitely Joseph and she decided that having it just might make the next few weeks a little more tolerable, “Thank you, Joseph.”
They worked together getting everything set for the night. Clarisse still couldn’t believe that this had all been organized and that she was actually agreeing to spend the night ‘outdoors’. She convinced herself that she had nothing to fear and that Joseph would keep her safe as he always did.
Joseph watched as she moved around their little campsite and decided that she looked incredibly sexy in black satin panties and his t-shirt. That image along with the one permanently burned in his mind from earlier this evening as she gave herself completely to him would hopefully be enough to warm him for the next few weeks.
They snuggled together under the covers and a blanket of stars, enjoying the beautiful light show that seemed to be on display especially for them. They made love again throughout the night; but this time at a more leisurely pace. Enjoying the exploration and trying to memorize every inch of the other’s body…knowing it would be a while before they could share such an intimate moment again.
Dawn broke and with it the realization that they had to leave their little slice of heaven. Clarisse was in a pair of grey slacks that Charlotte had sent for her; but had opted to wear Joseph’s shirt under the light jacket rather than the silk blouse that had been provided for her. As they prepared to leave, she cupped his cheek and offered lovingly, “Thank you, Joseph, for waiting…until I am free to love.”