(Very erotic if not very explicit.. so be warned.)
The King sat looking over documents in the chamber adjacent to his bedchamber. His attention was not on what he was reading, since in the other room he could hear the clank and thump of his new bed being put together. Josephine was directing the work, which made him smile. "Nay, set that up directly across from the tapestry. Take the camp bed out completely. I think thou hast the right side curtain on backwards."
Lawrence thought back over the past couple of weeks of re-wedded bliss. His and Jo's lovemaking had always been at least companionable, if not always intense. There was passion, of course, but he was realizing now after the two of them had had other teachers, that he had not really known how to make love to a woman. Yes, of course, he knew how to have intercourse, but not how to make the act of love an exercise in pleasuring a woman he cherished. As far as he knew, Jo had been happy with their intimacy, had seemed to respond with passion and never seemed dissatisfied. He tried not to think of the many times he had wondered, when she seemed absent, whether she was thinking of Elerde even as he himself moved against and in her.
Lawrence had a greater understanding now of why he had become so intoxicated with the courtesan, Juliana. Besides the dark earthiness of her spirit and body, she had been so responsive to his own body and lovemaking, it had drawn him back and back to her for more. At first he had been unsure of whether her apparent pleasure in him was ardor or artifice, given she was trained to appear to be enjoying herself. He did not know that her loneliness and old infatuation with him as youths had combined to make their lovemaking very intense for her. But it was as their affair went on over the months that Juliana had begun to instruct him in the art of pleasing a woman in bed. She had shown him where to touch and when, how to watch for the signs of sexual response in her face and body, how to move so her own climax would be more intense, when to soothe and when to hurt, just a little, with soft nips of his teeth. She taught him how to slow his own response and concentrate on hers. She had shown him through her own ardent response to his new skills that he was becoming a very good student.
Jo and the King had shared only the most basic revelations with each other about their time with their respective paramours. He knew that she had lain with Elerde, albeit for only a few weeks. She of course knew that Lawrence had been with the courtesan for many months. She knew his obsession with her body and making love to her was strong enough to behave willfully and recklessly and to make him throw everything away. But the details of their intimacy with their lovers they had not talked about.
Lawrence, listening to the work going on in his bedchamber, sat back in his Roman style chair and thought about what they had told each other, not in words but in how they made love now. He did not need to ask Jo about Elerde and how he pleasured her. He felt it in the intensity of her sexual response and the fact that now she told him, in words or in sounds and movements, what she wanted him to do. The experience was electrifying. His wife had always been responsive and loving, but now she was hungry for him, always wanting and demanding some touch, some kiss, some stroke of this tongue, some movement of his body. Rather than being put off, her needs increased his ardor. He was himself more intensely involved, and he knew it came from pleasing her. He did not need to be told that the Breton knight had made love to his wife with the experience of many lovers and with a desire for her that had gone unsatisfied for years. He could tell that Elerde's prowess in bed had opened many new understandings in the Queen's appetite and body.
How did he know? He thought about that now. He knew because she now came to him with desire as often as he to her. He knew because she looked at him in ways she had not before. He knew because rather than shrinking from what must have been as clear to her were lessons he learned in Juliana's arms she sought them hungrily. He knew that she seemed to know what she wanted , where she wanted it and when and how to give it to her in a way he had knot known with her before, inexperienced as they both were.
Now when they made love, he knew how to subtly change the intensity and duration of his touches. He had learned to pleasure a woman with his hands and mouth first before going on to intercourse. He knew just when to nip her breast, when to draw a finger along the inside of her thigh, when to switch from a gentle kiss on her throat to a forceful and thirsty kiss on that certain spot on her neck that drove her wild. He knew when, to gauge through her movements and how damp she had become, when she wanted him inside her. Then he knew how to move, how fast or how slow, how hard to thrust or how slowly to draw himself in and out of her to draw out her moan of deep pleasure. And she was not shy, not any more, about telling him what to do. "Not there. Oh yes, just like that. Quick, push harder." He knew now when she wanted him to pull her hips up and against him and how to spill into her as if his heart and soul and mind were all shooting deep inside her with his seed.
Josephine appeared at the door , shaking him out of his reverie. "Come see, " she invited.
The servants were clearing away tools and scraps of cloth and wood as the Queen led Lawrence by the hand into his bedchamber. There it was, almost as if the old bed had not been removed and burned. The heavy curtains that kept them warm on the coldest nights were drawn back and held to the posts with gold colored rope. The feather bed was high and soft, he could see, and covered with woolen blankets and a fur. The room was lit by his window and candles. There was a scent of herbs thrown on the fire in his hearth. The light of the fire flickered on the panels of the tapestry.
"Now," he said to her quietly, "I feeleth as though I may welcome thee home." He looked into her eyes and saw a warm, purring lasciviousness come over them.
"Oh Lawrence, " she sighed. He kissed her and left her to usher the last stragglers out and to lean into Clancy's anteroom to command that they not be disturbed.
He returned to her, the door shut firmly behind him, and began to remove her clothes. He carried her to the bed and lifted the covers to slide her in and crawl in after her. Kneeling above her, he pulled off his own clothing and shoved off his boots. Jo had come to want them both to be naked when they made love. She had told him she wanted the cool silkiness of their bodies to touch and slide. He stretched himself along her, and took her in his arms. Her eyes filled with heat.
"Aye, my Sunshine?"
"I love thee."
His own eyes filled with fire and love and they made long, sweet love to each other.
Lying in his arms afterward, gazing together at the tapestry as they often had over the years, she moved sensuously against him and purred.
Lawrence squeezed her and smiled. "Well, after that, I know not how to improve on it. " He looked at her amused smile and asked, "What do we do now?"
She considered for a moment, and then replied confidently, "How about live happily ever after?"
Next: The End
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 http://authorchristophermoss.vlogspot.com