The Serpent Strikes

The Duchess of Norfolk walks through the rose garden thinking about her husband’s wishes. He wants her to get very friendly with Prince Henry, so she can report back what plans the Prince has. But how far does her devious husband want her to go? She enjoys the feel of the sun on her face and the fragrant air from the delicate roses. She spots the Prince and walks towards him with her most seductive smile. She knows how to charm and entice men.

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Prince Henry Z~ I glance over to see Lady Norfolk amid the red and pink sea of roses. She smiles sweetly as she moves toward me. I must meet with the council and have no time for banter. As she steps right in my path, I realize it is useless to quicken my step. Very well, a few pleasantries and then I must be off. She reaches her hand out and I take it and ply it with a polite kiss. Lady Norfolk. How fare thee this day?

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Duchess of Norfolk UK Z~I smile seductively as the Prince takes my hand and curtsey deeply; “Good day Your Highness, I trust I find you well?” I watch his face intently, amused that this boy, this arrogant young man, son of an upstart pretender is at present the heir to the throne. My husband’s words resonate in my ears and I step closer and slowly run my finger through a loose tendril of hair. I am used to employing my feminine wiles to get what I want. The Prince is handsome doubtless, and completely in love with his low born wife. However I have to catch his eye, my husband needs to know what is in this young man’s head, and he is well known for his roving eye and passionate nature. I must try…I rise from my curtsey, leaning just far enough forward for him to appreciate my décolletage, my long hair falling around my shoulders, eyes sparkling with promise. ”You look troubled my lord, is there anything I can do to assist you?”

Prince Henry Z~ Her unexpected words catch me off my guard. I surely was not anticipating gentleness, much less a pleasing expression on her face. I must admit to myself, there are qualities about this woman a man can find most desirable. So fair a countenance and dulcet of voice. Perhaps I should politely make her aware of my hurry. “Thank you, Lady Norfolk, but I am fine. I am, however, pressed to meet with the Privy Council.”

Duchess of Norfolk UK Z~ I smile as I notice his face soften, perhaps this is not impossible. I look up at him from under lowered, dark lashes. ”I am to my chambers Your Highness I have to walk the same way, shall I accompany you?” I throw him another sweet smile and turn to walk in the direction he intends, swaying my hips deliberately and look back over my shoulder invitingly. ”It pains me to see such trouble etched into such a handsome face, please if I can help…*I linger on my next words* ease your troubles at all, do let me know” I turn and walk, knowing he is following, brushing my hair back over my shoulders. Perhaps my husband is right, perhaps this handsome young fool is the key to our power…we shall have to wait and see….

 

Prince Henry Z~ My heart is stirred. My mind beguiled, by this woman. I find myself following her as though tethered to her, unable to break free. I dare not take a step further. What of the council?  What of Bessie? They are far from my thoughts right now. My overwhelming sentiment at this time is to know more. See more. I am compelled to speak “Lady Norfolk, wait.” As she turns, I continue “I should like your opinion on a certain matter. The King’s affections for the Swedish Princess.” As I speak, my eyes take in the full breath of her poise and beauty. “I ask you, as a lady of English nobility. What do you say about their betrothal? I assure you, I shall keep your words in the strictest confidence, milady.” I step even closer. The fragrance of her perfume exciting my senses further

 

Duchess of Norfolk UK Z~ This is going better than I thought; the gleam in the Prince’s eyes is unmistakable. I stop and lean lightly against a pillar, tilting my head slightly and looking up at him with a small smile “The Princess is beautiful; she seems kind and the King very much in love with her. We women are all romantic at heart Your Highness; she seems to fit the image of a Queen in our heads. It is not proper for a Lady to dabble in politics; I leave that to my husband.” I lean forward again, running my bottom lip through my teeth and putting my mouth close to his ear, whispering. ”And what do you think of the match Your Highness? You must be pleased that your brother has finally found the happiness that you enjoy? ” I resist snarling the final words at the thought of that dreadful creature the Prince has married ever becoming Queen. The very idea chills my blood….what is England coming to? I look up again into Henry’s face with a welcoming smile, hands behind my back on the pillar, as provocative a pose as I can muster, an eyebrow raised with a flirtatious smile. ”Of course if you wish to discuss this matter further, it may be more prudent to do so in private?”

 

Prince Henry Z~ I smile wanly, wishing to seem only mildly interested, but my mind races at the thought of being alone with her. And why not? I am want to hear her opinion on the matter, and perhaps on others, as well. My intentions are strictly to discern her, and perhaps her husband’s notions, regarding our new “vandal Princess”. It would be helpful, useful to know where the nobility stand. As wanton as it may seem, I cannot help but satisfy my curiosity. “Prudent indeed, Lady Norfolk. I shall take you up on your invitation. This spot in particular is quiet and most discreet after nightfall. Of course, that is if you feel there is nothing…”improper” in our meeting at that hour?” As I speak, I find the distance between us closing such, that her skirt brushes against my breeches and I feel a further sensation of physical elation.

Duchess of Norfolk Z~ I smile up at him; I am almost surprised at myself that this has gone so well. The glimmer in his eyes reveal his struggle, he wants to convince himself he is meeting me for strictly noble reasons only. Well…we both know the truth. I shall meet this arrogant son of a pretender here and show him that it is not only low born wenches that know how to please a man, Prince or peasant. ”Yes Your Highness, that is a wonderful idea, it will be far more…intimate to meet and discuss the topic after nightfall, when we shall not be disturbed” I can see him almost shiver at the thought and muster my most provocative smile. I deliberately lean forward, tentatively laying my hands on his chest, pressed lightly against him, making sure my hair falls slightly over his face and putting my lips to his ear to whisper in a voice dripping with passion ”I shall be waiting” I step back with flushed cheeks and deep breaths, as though surprised at my own boldness and emotion. I move away, I must prepare myself for this evening, turning as I go and looking back over my shoulder one last time with a look that I know will ensure I am all he will think of this afternoon, and will guarantee he is here before me…

Prince Henry Z~ Gently I kiss her outstretched hand. The scent of her skin and feel of silk upon my lips causes my hand to tremble as my eyes stay locked upon hers. Eyes of green jewel, that bare a roiling tempest within. Hair of blazing red fire, surrounding her fair countenance. How has Lord Norfolk kept this exquisite creature from my eyes? And what secrets, what mysteries does she hold in store for me? The delicious anticipation of the night to come is already almost too much to bear! I raise my head and smile “Until the hour of nightfall then, milady.” *She turns away from me, almost contemptuously, and walks away. The sway and motion of her body as she moves causes my already heightened desire to burn even hotter. And when she turns her head back in mid-stride and her eyes catch mine, fleetingly. The flow of flaming red hair bouncing about her slender alabaster shoulders, ’tis as though Jupiter himself has run a bolt of lightning through me and I am, for a moment, rendered completely disarmed. Then that brief flash of white smile, as she spreads her pink lips and the final blow is struck! I stand there alone. Amongst the garden and pool and bird’s song, As I regain my composure and briskly walk on, my mind is focused on only one thought and one thought alone; Hurry night. Hurry fast.

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Duchess of Norfolk UK Z~ As nightfall approaches I prepare carefully to meet the Prince. Bathing in rose scented water and rubbing my skin with oils created to tantalise the senses. My hair is brushed to a shimmering flame and left flowing around my shoulders. I wear my favourite gown, emerald green, cut low and fitted tightly to my curves. I clasp my cloak around my shoulders with a brooch given to me by my father. A golden serpent with emerald eyes. I smile and think it a fitting ornament for what I am about to do. I leave my chambers for the gardens, checking I am not being watched and ponder how far to take this. My husband needs information…I must go as far as it takes…I am a passionate woman and the Prince is handsome if nothing else. We shall see. I enter the garden and see him standing waiting in the shadows. I glide across the grass and stand in the moonlight looking up at him with a soft smile ”Good evening Your Highness”

 

Prince Henry Z~ As I await her beside the limpid waters of the pool, my senses are filled with the sweet, sensual aromas of hyacinth and bluebells in the garden about me. The half-moon hangs solemnly in the indigo sky, casting a hue of grey upon the garden-scape. Then at once, like an apparition, she comes. Even from a distance, and in the moonlight, her haunting features beguile me. Her moves, like a cat. Smooth and graceful. With every step toward me, my heart slams against my chest, desire fills my limbs, my core, and once again, I am ready to do her will. Anything, just to taste those soft pink lips, and feel her body in my hands. I am nearly entranced, as she stops her approach just before me and glances around, before disarming me completely with a toss of her copper locks and warm smile. She greets me and I speak softly to her. Wishing that my words come out steady, as not to betray the excitement within me. “Good evening, lady Norfolk” I smile and lock eyes with hers. I take a step toward her, and even amongst the flora, I can still discern the scent of roses upon her, and my arousal grows. “Now, milady, I believe we were in the midst of conversation regarding the Swedish princess?” As I speak, I notice her slender hand reaching up to her fair bosom. Ample and bursting from her green bodice. She begins tracing a line with the tip of her finger. Slowly gliding it down her neck. Her throat, and in the valley between her heaving breasts. My throat tightens, and I am captivated by this simple, yet striking gesture. I attempt to speak further. “The Princess… My brother’s…”  Before I could say another word, she is upon me. My face, hot and my breath heavy, as her cheek touches mine. Her delicate lips brush my ear. Then a whisper…

 

Duchess of Norfolk UK Z~ As I approach his desire is written across his face, he really has been anticipating this moment. He is almost radiating passion…this is too easy. I stand before him in the moonlight, knowing it will highlight the fire in my hair and my eyes. I watch intently as he tries to speak, choked by his desire and step closer, my finger tracing my throat. I am so close I can hear his breathing, hot and heavy, I lean forward and press my cheek to his, whispering in his ear, my chest pressed to his and I purr in his ear, my voice dripping with passion;”Your Highness…do you really wish to waste this time alone discussing a matter we both know we cannot influence?” I hear his gasp and take my chance, gently running his earlobe through my teeth, I step back slightly looking up into his eyes, my own sparkling green with excitement awaiting his next move, chest heaving. I let my hands fall to my side, a gesture of surrender…will he take the advantage

Prince Henry Z~ What is this matter she speaks of? My mind has cleared all thought, save the relentless desire to have this woman. Every move her body makes commands me to do so. I reach out my hand and caress her fair cheek. She looks in my eyes. A look that pulls me toward her. I lean in to her and our lips close within a hair’s breadth of each other. I whisper “No, milady. Your body is saying all that need be said for the time being.” I press my lips to hers fiercely. She yields hers to mine, and I slowly slide my hands down her slender, bare shoulders, down her arms. All the while, pulling her close to me. I can feel her heart pounding beside mine, as my hands slide down her arms. My lips pepper her neck and shoulders with light kisses and playful nibbling. She tosses her head back, her fiery red hair flying behind her. As I taste her, her soft moans mingle with those of the crickets and the gurgling, splashing of the garden fountain. I reach my hand behind her and my hands work furiously to unlace her bodice. My lips finding her fair bosom. Rising and falling with every breath she takes, soft and scented as rose petals: “Come with me.”

 

 I take her hand and move to the edge of the fountain pool, and pull her down with me on the soft grass. Again, we kiss. Slaking each other’s thirst with our tongues. I reach out and caress and fondle her breast. I slide my hand down her dress. Down her leg, and under the bustle of her skirt and kirtle.

Duchess of Norfolk UK Z~ Standing in the moonlight, my hair blowing gently in the breeze I raise my face to his, my eyes inviting him to do what I know he wishes. He kisses me hard, fuelled by passion. I respond with ardour, chest heaving my body screaming that I want him. I am well practiced at this art; no woman who wants to make her way at court is not. I am doing this for my husband, for my family, we need information, we need an ally. If this is the way to do it, then I must surrender myself. I follow him to the pool, surrounded by darkness, only the moon to watch our adulterous tryst. The garden is still, the sound of the water and the breeze the only noise aside our impassioned breathing that can be heard. As his hand runs down my leg I raise it to his waist, arms snaking around his neck, pulling him closer to me. I hungrily press my lips to his, eyes filled with desire and need. My hands stray to his shirt and slide over his muscular chest. I whisper, in a voice deliberately choked by a moan of pleasure:

”Your Highness…I am your most devoted servant. Do with me as you will

 

Written by Duchess of Norfolk UK Z and Prince Henry Z (Z Court)

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