Before there was the novel, there were the stories...

by Nan Hawthorne, who also writes under Christopher Hawthorne Moss, Books and Stories b ChristopherHawthorne Moss at

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Old Stories. Love Scene and Erik's Cynicism, 768 AD

As I mentioned before, I tended to fill the stories with extra characters. Laura had a few of her own, including the ill fated Robert de Riffet, Elerde and Lady Jocelyn. But I suppose because I loved writing the scenes so much and probably produced four or five for every one of Laura's, I came up with more to have stories to tell about them. Erik is a Dane, a merchant ship's captain, a familiar face in lawrtence's and Josephine's court, and the King's closest friend. He provides a sort of foil for the more emotional characters, like Shannon, and in a more blunt way than does Lorin. Don't worry, you will have a chace to see that for yourself. Erik, alas, did not make the final cut into the novel.

April 768

ow long was it now they had been reunited? Only two months. Most young married couples after two months had grown a little used to each other. Not only did an extremely small number be with each other every night, but almost none would be likely to show affection in public. But the King and Queen were very singular lovers. Lawrence couldn't possibly restrain the impulse to kiss her when she laughed so prettily or when she smiled and touched his cheek so gently. And how could he resist Josephine when she so seductively soft beside him?

Lawrence was in a thoughtful mood. He was often. He sat on his great chair in the hall, and watched the Queen as she embroidered a new satin mantle. When he was in such a mood, Lawrence would sit, his eyes set on one thing, scratching his beard. This time a faint smile touched his lips. His eyes, usually either sad or passionate, now were merry. Josephine saw this and found it made her a little giddy. She wished she could share his thoughts.

The Queen was wearing a low cut white silk dress with gold thread embroiderings. Her hair hung about her, past her waist, and small white hands fleetly and skillfully flew back and forth. To Lawrence, it seemed that the needle and thread were struggling to keep up with them.

In the room a maidservant carried off a few dishes from breakfast while another swept. Two or three of Josephine's ladies were arguing over a name for the baby the Queen had said she hoped she might have conceived, tho' she was not sure as yet. Clancy O'Neill sat in a corner polishing Lawrence's sword to a mirror shine. And last but not least, there was Erik, snoring on one of the benches. He'd been practicing some of his ideas on love all night in the village, and hadn't slept much.

"How lovely she is," Lawrence was thinking. "So Queenly! Oh, I hope there is a child. Look at her hair. How it shines. Her breasts heave ever so gently when she breathes. She's smiling! How lovely, how lovely…"

Josephine would have loved to hear his thoughts, and so would he have loved to hear hers. "All he has to do is just be, just exist; his merely sitting there near me has me all giddy like a foolish maiden. An I almost be twenty! It's wonderful! His eyes are glad today, and as strong and gentle as always." At this thought she looked up to meet his loving gaze. Her countenance shone, as if it were the sun which grazed warmly into her face.

The King slowly rose and strode to her. He put one finger under her chin and inclined his head and hers to make them even; then he kissed her, gently, fully. He remembered their first kiss, almost six years ago, and decided her kiss was even sweeter than before.

Their bliss was interrupted by a low voice. Erik groaned. "At it again, eh? Dost think ye fool me? Ye really hate each other, but don't want to show it. Bah!" He fell off the bench.

Lawrence chuckled. "I was on my way to the garden," he said softly. "Would my lady care to join me?" She smiled and let him help her up.

In the garden he chose the prettiest daisy he could find and gave it to her. It was his favorite flower, all white and gold, just like Josephine. She tucked it in her bosom and touched his cheek as thanks. With the scent of the garden about them and the warm sun above, the intoxicated lovers locked in an embrace…

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About the author

Nan Hawthorne now writes under the name Christopher Hawthorne Moss. You can contact Christopher at .