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

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Old Stories: Juliana Re-encountered -- Outtakes

This story makes its own history. Not only was it one of the first stories I wrote when Laura was all but out of the picture, it contains the reason I started writing the new versions that eventually became the novel. What happened was that I came across a missing story, the story of Lawrence's first night with the concubine, Juliana, the specific story of seduction, and realized that after a few decades, I could do a better job writing it anyway. As I said, "I've had sex, so now I can write about it.

To back up a wee bit, I at some point decided that Lawrence would establish some sort of United nations, calling this diplomatic entity Trent. He causes a town to be built and representatives from the surrounding kingdoms invited. he himself represents Christenlande, later Críslicald, and there encounters an old friend from his past.

At the risk of spoiling any reading of the novel, this affair between Lawrence and Juliana never happens, the royal couple never fool around on each other, no matter how much readers cheer Elerde on. That's why I call this an "outtake".

Lawrence had been in Trent but one day when his memory had a surprising jolt. While walking, one morning down the path to the administrations building, he noticed a young woman seated on a bench playing with flower petals in a pond. She was obviously one of the concubines kept at the castle for the benefit of visiting dignitaries., for she were a pendant with one red stone a badge of "office." As he came nearer, tho, Lawrence sensed something peculiar. When he came to the bench, which was set by the path, he realized he'd seen her, known her from somewhere before. He stopped, much to the astonishment of his attendants. The woman turned her head a little, embarrassed by the King's actions. Her face turned toward him. He saw a fine face, with a light complexion, pale gray eyes, pale lips, a slightly turned up nose, and dark lashes and brows, framed with thick, curling black hair. She looked at him with surprise, a spark in her eyes indicating recognition. Lawrence took a step forward. "Juliana!"

The woman smiled and said, "My Lord! Can it truly be thee?"

Lawrence's smile spread across his face. "It is good to see you, Juliana! But here, That way? Oh, my dear, I must talk with you! How long has it been? What, seven years?"

Juliana's head had drooped. "Aye, seven years. And so much has occurred since then. I know your tale well. I have followed your exploits like a minstrel. I have wept and laughed. But I had not thought to speak to you again!"

As one of the attendants ventured a timid "My lord…" Lawrence looked impatiently at him. Turning back to the girl he said brightly. Oh, I must go, the lords are kept waiting. But please, I entreat you, be at my apartments this evening for dinner. Then we may talk all we wish! Good bye!" With that he kissed her hand and went off smiling.

That evening, she dressed in a blue gown and removed the pendant. She piled her hair up so that little curls hung over her temples and the back of her neck. Lawrence answered his door when she knocked and seemed quite pleased with her attire. He seated her at a small table and poured wine for her. They chatted about the present while they ate, but when the meal was cleared away, Lawrence leaned eagerly over to learn the secret of her past.

Juliana reluctantly began. "The last time I say you, Lawrence, was soon after the death of your sister Lorelei, who was my friend. That, as you said, was seven years ago. We'd gone through the sorrow of losing her together, and out of kindness, though I was not a noblewoman, you married me to a rich old baron from far west of Christenlande. In the fever of the next year or two we quite lost track of each other, or, rather, you of me, for I kept track of everything you did. I could name each of your five children, their ages, your friends, their wives, the exploits of your wife, everything. But I digress. When Roland was in power, my husband foolishly insulted him and the prince himself came to see my lord put to death. Of course, his eyes went to me. We had been childhood friends, but no matter to him. He raped me and then forced me to become one of his concubines. H said he would kill my baby if I didn't. After it died anyway, I ran away. I stayed in a convent here in Trent, but was offered this positions when you built the principality. I have been here ever since. "

Lawrence was touched by her story and regretted having forgotten her for so long. "But why did you not come to Lawrencium?"

"I was too ashamed. I am not proud of being a whore. I did not love old Aelbert, but then, at least, I was one man's woman. And, please my lord, do not tell anyone of me. I would like to remain quite forgotten." She looked at the King with pleading eyes and he nodded.

They spoke with nostalgia for some time of Lorelei and childhood. Around them images of spring seemed to float and pleasurable feelings came to both. But Lawrence suddenly looked out the window. He rose, "Why, it has become quite dark!"

Juliana nodded and also stood. She looked about the room and then inquisitively at Lawrence. "Where is the bedroom?"

Lawrence did not understand. "The bedroom? That way. Why?"

Juliana was perplexed. "You do want me to sleep with you, don't you?"

A strange sensation came over Lawrence, but he shook it off with a laugh. "So, you thought I brought you up for dinner to sleep with me? No, Juliana, I had not even thought of it. I'm sorry, I mean…" He stumbled for an explanation.

Juliana gave him a knowing look. " I understand everything. Remember, I know you like I know my prayers. I should have considered that before." She gave him her glove as she went t the door. "My lord, when you need my services, I shall know." And she quietly walked out.

Lawrence was left gawking at the door. He sniffed the perfume of the glove and stood there, allowing the strange sensations to flood unrestrained over his entire body.

Next: Juliana and Lawrence

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About the author

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