The original idea for this story belongs to an author on called St. Clair. Back in 2005, she posted two chapters of a story entitled "To Get an Heir". I must admit that I was intrigued by the story line and was very persistent in my follow-up with her asking her to finish the story...I even offered at one point to help. Alas, we were never able to connect so I decided to finish it. So credit for the first chapter and the original idea goes to St. Clair...after that, it is how I would tell the story.
Her original story can be found at under my Favorite Stories (sorry I tried to put the link in, but it wouldn't show up).
I also changed the name for my portion of the story from "To Get an Heir" to "To Produce an Heir"
Disclaimers: I don't own the characters nor the original idea...everything else, however, is mine. The characters, of course, belong to Meg Cabot and Disney and I make no money from this work of fiction. I did, however, garner great joy and satisfaction from writing it.
Warnings: If you are not a fan of a story wherein Joseph is intimately involved in the creation of an heir for the throne of Genovia...then perhaps you shouldn't read. But if you are on the fence about the idea...why not read a few chapters and see what you think...grin
Special thanks to my beta, Dorthe, for trusting my judgment about this storyline and for multi-tasking at work so she could get the beta finished.
Thanks to my friend, Yolanda, for assistance with the Spanish.
Also thanks to Gina and Tay for your pre-screens, comments and encouragement to keep writing.
So now we pick up where St. Clair left off...
Joseph excused himself and wandered through the halls of the palace for an hour or so trying to fully grasp what had just happened. What the King had said was true – speculation was running rampant about why the royal couple had not produced an heir. It had gone from the typical media joking and light harassment to a full blown concern among the people and Parliament in Genovia that perhaps they were seeing the last of the Renaldi line.
Could he allow that to happen if he had a chance to stop it? He and his ancestors had enjoyed much prosperity under the Renaldi rule. He, himself, had taken an oath to protect the Crown and to see that no harm comes to it. Did that extend to ensuring that the royal lineage continued – even if no one but the King and Queen would know about it? The Queen…his Queen…his friend…would their relationship ever be the same if they went through with this?
He shook his head – entirely too many questions and not any answers. There was only one way to figure this out…he had to talk with her. She held the answers he needed.
Of course he had no idea that she was asking herself many of the same questions…
In the Queen's Private Rose Garden
Clarisse had been sitting on the padded bench in the middle of her roses seeking solace, comfort and wisdom as she pondered the cruel twist of fate that life had thrown her. She sensed his presence long before he said anything and she allowed the quiet moment between the two of them. Many things that had occurred that day were unsure; but there was one thing that was certain…the conversation she and Joseph were about to have would NOT be pleasant.
She finally broke the silence even though she did not turn towards him. "I fear Jenna is very upset with me as I have neglected my duties for the past few hours and have no intention of returning to them today."
"I'm certain she will do a fine job of covering and rescheduling for you. Even Queens deserve a reprieve now and then."
"May I speak with you, Your Majesty?" He asked softly and very officially.
She finally turned towards him, her expression unreadable – which Joseph found very unusual and very disconcerting. "As my personal body guard, you are apparently at liberty to do many things – not the least of which is to speak with me."
He inwardly flinched at her tone and implied accusation. He had to take a couple of deep breaths before continuing to keep the hurt out of his voice. "Nevertheless, I ask your permission to speak with you about the matter the King mentioned this morning."
Her voice continued to sound angry. "Do you have ANY idea what it's been like the past eight years? The trying – the hope – the disappointment – the frustration? Hearing people talk and say incredibly hurtful things, including your capabilities as a woman and your husband's virility?"
He wasn't sure there was an appropriate answer. "No ma'am."
"And now…NOW he suggests that the solution to our problem is that I sleep with another man – and not just ANY man…YOU!" She turned to face him, her visage discernibly upset.
"I can understand how that would be most difficult for you." His voice remained calm and steady – he knew she needed to get this out before they could talk.
Some of her diplomacy kicked in; but it seemed out of place in her tirade. "Not that you aren't a wonderful man that any woman would be delighted to share a bed with; but I'm not just ANY woman, Joseph…I am married…and to the King."
"Yes ma'am you are." He decided to not comment on her statement about a woman being delighted to share his bed – any statement either way on that could be seriously misconstrued.
"So what am I to do, Joseph?" Her look turned imploring.
He had come seeking answers from her and had ended up being the one who had to come up with an answer that would satisfy her. He took a deep breath and calmly answered. "Refuse."
Her gaze snapped up to meet his, surprise evident on her face. "What?"
"It's very simple, Your Majesty – you refuse to do the duty the King asks of you. He is King; but you are his wife and he cannot force you to do this. Genovia's laws protect any woman, royalty included, from being forced to have an intimate relationship with anyone."
"And what of you and your duty to do as the King wishes?" She seemed perplexed and intrigued at the same time by the direction the conversation was taking; and perhaps a bit fearful that he may actually refuse and leave her to whomever her husband may select as his replacement. "I know you, Joseph; you would do your duty."
"It would be a moot point. If you elected not to do this; my services to the Crown in this particular matter would not be needed; and, therefore, I would not be neglecting my duty."
Her temper flared again. "Oh so this is all on me?!"
"Yes, Your Majesty, as I will not do this without your consent."
"So if I refuse, what happens next? Since you seem to have all of the answers today…" Her voice sounded less angry; but there was definitely bitterness present.
"Well, I suspect that life will go on; you and the King will continue to try and conceive until your biological clock no longer allows that possibility. I, along with the rest of Genovia, will wait with tempered anxiety to see which family rises to power and how that will affect each of us personally. Genovia has enjoyed hundreds of years of prosperity under the Renaldi line; perhaps the next family will be as successful." He delivered the possible future scenario as steadily as he would share the headlines from the front page of the Genovia Times.
"It will go down in history as my fault, won't it? Even though you, Rupert and I know that he is the one that can't father children – society will assume it's me, won't they?" Her voice was more defeated and resigned now.
"Yes, Your Majesty, I'm afraid that is probably true since I know you are too loyal to the King to ever tell anyone different. Your love for him both as your husband and your King will not allow his name to be soiled, even at the cost of your own."
She nodded and took a few deep breaths. "Well I can't let that happen – not when it is within my power to prevent it – no matter how difficult the solution may be."
The silence was palpable over the next few moments as they stood pondering what came next – now that she had made her decision.
Her demeanor was calmer now – the mask was fully in place. "So you agree to do this?"
"With some stipulations."
Once again, his response caught her off guard. "I beg your pardon! You just spent the last thirty minutes lecturing me on doing my duty to preserve the Renaldi lineage and now you stand before me with stipulations? How dare you?!"
"I dare – because it is vitally important to me – just as important as ensuring the continuance of the Renaldi line is to you."
Her cheeks were flushed with anger and her blue eyes sparkled with an intensity that would cause most men to cower in fear. "So what are these stipulations, if I may be so bold to ask? Or should I simply be so grateful that you are willing to bed me that I should just roll over and do as you ask?"
Joseph's fist clenched in response to her hurtful comments; he had never seen her act in such a manner. She was certainly more disturbed by all of this than she had even indicated; he tried very hard not to take her statement personally. "I have two simple requests, if you will. One, I want to make sure that our professional relationship and friendship will survive this. I am under no illusion that it won't change it; but I want to make sure that you agree that we can talk through things. I want to remain in the employ of the Renaldi family."
She interrupted. "Surely, you wouldn't think we would ask you to do something of such a personal nature and then send you away?"
"I don't presume to know anything, Your Majesty. All I'm asking for is reassurance."
"You have my oath, as Queen. I will also speak with Rupert."
"Thank you, Your Majesty. Finally, I want nothing to do with any compensation in exchange for agreeing to do this. As you indicated, this is my duty – to you and my country…to seek financial compensation for doing so would be wrong."
The angry red on her face had turned to a highly evident blush; she was clearly embarrassed at having accused Joseph of being anything less than honorable. "Understood. Joseph?"
"Yes, Your Majesty."
"I'm sorry. My behavior has been inexcusable; I just find myself at a loss to make sense of all of this." She returned to a seated position on the bench resting her head in her hands, a small tear escaping through the recently placed mask.
He sat down next to her, unsure of what would be appropriate comfort. Before this morning, he would have put his arm around her and pulled her into a warm embrace – now it seemed awkward. He sighed. They hadn't even gotten close to doing this and already things had changed.
She took some of the decision away as she leaned, just slightly, into him. "Forgive me?" She whispered.
"There's nothing to forgive. You've had a terrible day filled with decisions that no one should ever have to make. We'll figure this out and it will be alright – the end justifies the means, right?" He offered.
Her eyes found his, a sad smile present on her face. "It's ironic how often that statement has been used to rationalize a multitude of sins."
His arm went around her shoulder, pulling her close. "Indeed."
After several minutes giving and taking comfort, Joseph finally broached the subject that he knew would cause her stress to raise again. "So how are we going to do this?"
He bristled waiting for the sarcasm that he knew would be forthcoming. Instead she lifted her head off of his shoulder, a faint smile decorating her features. "I must be honest, Joseph, and admit that when the King and I agreed on you as our choice, we believed that you had a basic understanding of how reproduction occurred."
His amusement was music to their ears as the discomfort he had been stifling over the past few hours was released through the healing balm of laughter. "I assure you, my Queen, that I am well versed in the practice of reproduction."
"Not TOO versed, I hope." She teased; but with a serious undertone to the comment.
This time his head went to his hands and he shook it gently. "I can't really win in this conversation, can I? I'm damned if I have too much experience because that means I've been with more women than the King or Queen would like; on the other hand, you don't want to have someone who has no idea what he's doing either as that could be awkward for Her Majesty as well."
Her hand patted his shoulder, "I'm sorry, Joseph, you're right – that was not a fair thing for me to say. It's really none of my business anyway." She turned away shyly.
He turned her back towards him so they were facing and he framed her face in his hands. "All's fair in love and war…and duty. If you are to be intimate with another person, it's only right that you should know about their past relationships. First, I assure you I have a clean bill of health…"
She interrupted again. "I never doubted that."
He smiled. "Thank you. Secondly, there have been a couple of women that I have been very close to in my lifetime; but none since I started working in the palace. What about you?"
Her eyes widened in surprise. "I beg your pardon?"
There was definite glint of humor in his eyes as he prodded. "Oh so I share my history with you; but you get to clam up on me?" He teased.
She smiled, straightened her shoulders and responded. "I'll have you know, sir, that I have limited experience…limited to just one. It's not a good thing to be unfaithful if your husband happens to be the King- they don't take too kindly to that." She paused. "Unless, of course, they expect you to…"
Silence ensued as the curtain of tension descended once again…
"Maybe we should take some time to think about this and reconvene tomorrow to discuss?" He offered as a way to allow them both some time to absorb the full impact of what they had just agreed to do for their country.
Joseph bowed and left her to her thoughts as he retired to his suite after ensuring that she would be watched, discreetly from a distance until she retired to her rooms for the evening.
Later that evening in the Royal Suite
"I'm afraid Jenna was quite exasperated with me today." Rupert offered as a way of breaking the ice after returning from eating dinner alone.
"It must have been a very difficult day for you."
He sighed; but forged ahead. "So you and Joseph spoke? He agreed?"
"He had stipulations that you must agree to."
"Intriguing. So what were they?"
She sighed – this had to be the longest day of her life. "He wanted to ensure that he would be able to remain in our employ and that he and I would have open communication to preserve our friendship, even though it will be irrevocably changed after we do this."
"I have no plans to send him away. I hope you assured him of that fact." Rupert interjected.
"I gave him my oath and assured him I would secure yours as well."
"Consider it done. What else did he request?"
"Nothing actually…he insisted that, other than his continued employment, he wanted no additional compensation for doing his duty."
"He is an honorable man; we have made a good choice." Rupert seemed satisfied with the way things turned out and sat down to enjoy his evening tea.
"There was one final question he asked me that I need your help to answer." She took a deep breath and watched as he looked up from his evening paper.
"What is that, dear?"
"He wanted to know how we should do this. Have you given that any thought…dear?" She stressed the dear part. She closed the distance between then and knelt before him. "I mean should I call out your name or his as I reach the heights of ecstasy or should I make sure I don't enjoy the encounter? Where should I allow his touch? What should I wear? How should I act? Will you ever want to touch me again? Will he ever want to look me in the eyes again? Tell me, Rupert – have you thought about any of that?"
To find the "rest of the story" please go to my website under Clarisse and Joseph stories (sorry can't post it here due to rating restrictions as the rest has both MA and T ratings. Thank you!!