Age of Edward Contest

Your pen name: edwardsisobel

Title: C'est la Vie

Type of Edward: French in the Age of Enlightenment – pre French Revolution

If you would like to see all the stories that are a part of this contest visit The Age of Edward 2010 C2 Community

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C'est la Vie

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Palace of Versailles, France 1783

~Isabelle~

"Isabelle…Isabelle…wake up ma bichette!" my Maman, Renee, the comtesse de la Roquefort, called out as she bustled into my room, loudly directing the maid hastening behind her, to lay out my apparel for my toilette. "The white gown today with the pale pink chemise and white stockings, pink garters and the white headpiece I think…or what about the pale pink, Rosalie? Non? Oui? Oui, the pale pink is much better."

Morbleu! Why does Maman even bother asking Rosalie anyway? It's not as if she ever waited for an answer. And why did Maman insist that I wear this insipid pink? It does not suit me in the slightest with my brown eyes, brown hair and pale skin. Marie-Antoinette, la reine wore a lot of pink, so voilà, we wore…pink.

I wanted to wear midnight blue and magenta, or even violet but non! Maman's opinion was that sixteen was too young to be wearing bold colors. La! I longed to be an adult and able to wear what I wanted, to make my own decisions and preferably travel the world like papa.

My Papa, Charles Swan, the comte de la Roquefort, was of no help in this matter at all. He resisted my brimming eyes and fluttering eyelashes with ease when I had broached the subject with him, more than a few times. "Be respectful of your maman, mon ange, and take her advice. There are other things more important to worry about than the color of the dress you wear, hmm?" he would gently remind me time and again as he read the correspondence delivered daily from the capital.

"La! Isabelle…you are a sleepy head this morning." Maman's high pitched voice jolted me out of my musings, "It is time to rise now and prepare for the day." She punctuated her demands with two sharp staccato claps. "You are required in the Royal apartments after dejeuner. We only have a few hours to prepare you."

I groaned quietly into my pillow and squirreled deeper into the soft mattress in denial. The heavy silk curtains surrounding my bed were still closed, blocking the light from the windows and sheltering me from the flurry of activity taking place in my room. I did not want to get out of bed and dressed in all my finery, only to spend the day in the tedious company of the little Dauphin and Mademoiselle, reading aloud until my throat became hoarse and painful.

My reading services were requested more and more frequently as of late. My Papa said that I was my own worst enemy; that it was because I loved books and stories so much, that I brought the stories to life with my telling of them. Thus it was that the petit enfants royaux called upon me often to entertain them in their apartments.

On my eighth birthday, my Papa had given me a copy of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. We used to read it together. From that moment on, I had been in love with the written word and devoured it with a passion. Papa always brought me back books from his travels and I read everything I could find, both childish works and novels far too mature for my infuriating age of sixteen.

Maman used to shake her head and tell Papa that he was filling my head with ideas not befitting a young lady, but Papa chided her gently and said that there was nothing wrong with a young lady possessing both beauty and brains. Maman would huff at first but then giggle like a schoolgirl when Papa would encircle her waist, pulling her close to whisper in her ear.

One day, not twelve months past, Madam Campan, the first lady of the bedchamber of the Queen, was visiting Maman in our apartments when she had overhead Papa and me reading Chaucer's Tales out loud in his study. She joined Papa and I for a while and after mentioning me to the duchesse du Polignac, the new governess, I was requested to attend most frequently to entertain the children.

The first time the Queen had entered the children's apartments during my visit, I was terrified. It was all very well and good to read to my father and the little royal children but to read aloud to the Queen…my heart pounded. Of course, I stuttered and whispered my way through the first page.

I had been certain that the Queen would be furious with me, but when I had chanced a glance in her direction I had been surprised by the encouraging smile on her face. I had taken a deep breath and let the magic of the words wash over me, I became as one with the characters in the story I was telling.

On occasion, King Louis himself would accompany the Queen and would listen in as I read to the children. My Papa had told me that this was most rare in Royal families or indeed the nobility in general. I was well aware how many children, including my best friend Jasper, rarely saw their parents while growing up; they were always at some ball or fete or travelling the continent. Jasper's care had been delegated to that of an elderly relative.

I rarely saw Jasper these days, not like the old days when we were younger and had no responsibilities within the Palace. Many a day we had snuck into the gardens and played games. One day we would be grand adventurers in the African jungle and the next, French Dragoons fighting the English with La Fayette and George Washington in America.

Those days were long gone. While I read to the little royals, worked on my needlepoint at Maman's insistence or studied hard at my Latin verbs, Jasper was living our dreams for the both of us. Jasper was now training with the dragoons, learning the art of swordplay and war strategy. He had a life.

In fact, Jasper was the reason I was so reluctant to perform my duty today with the royal infants. Papa had informed me last night that he would be accompanying the marquis de La Fayette to the palace today and would be staying for a month along with a cousin of the marquis, Edouard , vicomte de Vichy. I wondered briefly whether the cousin would be as tall and lanky as the marquis, and a redhead too.

I remember the last time that the marquis de La Fayette was received by the King and Queen not long after he had returned victorious from the Battle of Yorktown and was named marechel-de-camp. I had listened avidly to Papa's anecdotes from the reception of La Fayette's time as aide-de-camp for the great general.

Nothing could dampen my mood today though. Jasper was coming, and even though he would need to attend the marquis for the duration of his visit, we would still get to spend some time together.

I wondered if Jasper would kiss me properly now that I was almost seventeen. Jasper had turned into a very good looking young man with honey blonde hair and sky blue laughing eyes. The day before he had left for training almost twelve months ago, we had strolled along the promenade holding hands and he had kissed my cheek, called me 'ma chérie' and told me that he would miss me. I had written much about that kiss in my journal; the softness of his lips and the feel of his hand in mine.

The woosh of my bedcurtains and the glare of the sun streaming through the windows startled me out of my reverie as did my Maman throwing her hands up in the air in despair at my tardiness, "Vite, vite! Isabelle…we don't have all day."

With a heartfelt sigh, I dragged myself from the soft mattress and stood only in my nightrail as Rosalie bustled around me with a wet sponge before quickly stripping the wet garment from my body, roughly drying me and covering me with the first layer of the day, an almost opaque chemise. Rosalie, overlooked by Maman, assisted me with the thick white stockings and tied the pale pink garters around the stockings and my thighs.

Next my silk petticoat was floated over my head and tied to my waist then the heavy silk gown with its cutaway showing off the front of my petticoat. Fully dressed, I sat on the low stool for an hour as Rosalie untangled my hair from its plait before massaging it with hair oils and patting it all over with thickening powder. And then the real work started as layer after layer of my hair was teased and pinned along with hair filler and finally a pearly headpiece.

My head and the muscles in my neck were tense and aching from the strain of sitting still for so long and the weight of my hair. Rosalie noticed the grimace of pain and lightly rubbed my shoulders to ease the strain. I smiled at her gratefully, whispered "merci" and squeezed her hand. She winked back at me out of sight of my mother.

Once I was suitably attired, my hair attaining the appropriate height and my teeth rubbed with powder and opiates, I strolled into Papa's library to select a book to read to the children. As I perused the shelves, Maman called out that the Queen had requested that I read Voltaire's Candide today. Voltaire? I can't read that to the children, whatever was Maman thinking?

"Maman I hardly think Voltaire is suitable reading material for the children, you must be mistaken. I think I will read Perrault's Sleeping Beauty, it is a favorite of Marie-Therese." I called back to her as I browsed the shelves for one of my old childhood favorites. All was quiet for a moment before Maman's laughter drifted to me through the door.

"But you are not reading to the enfants today, you silly girl. La reine has personally requested you attend her salon today and read Voltaire for her and the King before they meet with the marquis. I am sure I told you this already this morn, Isabelle."

I flushed guiltily. Maman often had to repeat herself as my mind did tend to drift off most frequently when she was lecturing me on the proper decorum of a young lady. I walked across the room and picked up my well read copy of Candide from Papa's desk and followed Maman out of the door, my heart beating a little faster than normal.

I was brought up short behind Maman as we reached the door to the Queen's salon and the pale blue liveried footman drew the heavily embellished doors open. As we entered the room with a swish of our skirts, a few heads turned in our direction that I immediately recognized, including those of the King and Queen. All of the royal favorites were there, princesse de Lamballe, duchesse du Polignac, the Kings' brother and sister, comte de Artois and madame Elizabeth.

I breathed a sigh of relief that the gathering today was small. A chair had been set out for me at the far end of the room and after greeting the inhabitants of the room with a deep curtsy, I took my place. I was nervous at first, but the power of the words drew me in and as I read aloud the rest of the room faded away and I was lost in the imagery of the book before me.

I had been reading for some time when I became aware of a low rumble of voices in the background and the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I glanced up from my page and immediately noticed that the room was more populated than previously. Three men now occupied the chairs at the far end of the room, two of which were dressed in the uniform of the dragoons and the third in court finery, which in no way hid his identity.

While engrossed in the book, the marquis de La Fayette had arrived with his retinue which included a mischievously smiling Jasper and the most gorgeous man I had ever seen in my life. I immediately stood, and amidst much blushing, dipped into a curtsy, embarrassed that I had failed to notice such an important personage entering the room.

I stuttered my apologies for my lack of manners and was immediately charmed by the marquis who waved away my concerns and confided in me that Voltaire was one of his favorites and my reading of him most entertaining. I smiled and went to move away when the nobleman accompanying the marquis, and who surely must be his cousin, and therefore the vicomte du Vichy, with his barely tamed mane of tawny bronze hair, spoke up.

"Your majesties, if I may be so bold, the mademoiselle is most entertaining, and it would be a pleasure to hear more of Voltaire's story before we begin our serious discussions this afternoon."

La reine smiled benignly at the young man, her eyes bright with amusement and nodded her agreement for me to continue.

My heart beating a thousand times faster, I took my seat again and lifted the book, my hands shaking a little. As I read, I glanced up at the vicomte more than once, feeling his brilliant green eyes on me as I spoke, and a small smile lifting the corners of his perfectly formed pink lips. This time I was unable to lose myself within the story and instead, was conscious of even the tiniest movement of the man who had captivated my interest.

A hundred times I wanted to kill myself, but always I loved life more. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our worst instincts; is anything more stupid than choosing to carry a burden that really one wants to cast on the ground? to hold existence in horror, and yet to cling to it? to fondle the serpent which devours us till it has eaten out our heart? —.

I paused to take a drink of water from the crystal glass that had been placed on a low table near my chair, when the King interrupted and announced that it was time for him to discuss matters with La Fayette, and that we would continue with Voltaire another day.

I gratefully drained the glass; my throat parched, and curtsied to the room in general before making my way to the doors. As I passed Jasper, he drew me over to introduce me to the marquis and the vicomte, who appeared to be a few years older than myself.

When the vicomte took my hand in his and brought it to his lips, I stopped breathing. Dazed, I was lost in the warmth of his touch and the softness of his lips against my skin. All thoughts of kissing Jasper this summer flew from my brain and settled instead on Edouard, the vicomte.

Too soon Edouard released my hand and whispered, "Breathe, mademoiselle Swan." I tore my eyes from his, embarrassed and ducked my head, forgetting that my hair was not loose, and barely missed hitting him in the eye with my headpiece. He laughed and took a step back, joking that women's elaborate hairstyles would make a far more effective weapon than many others he had encountered. I blushed.

Everywhere I went for the next few days, I looked for the vicomte's beautiful bronze hair, thankfully free from the powder and silly affectations that some of the men of the court had adopted. I had seen him once from a distance strolling in the grounds with the marquis. Oh how I longed to run my fingers through his soft hair and have him press his pink lips to mine in a kiss.

Rosalie commented often on my smiling countenance over the next few days and I eventually confessed to her about my fascination with the vicomte.

"Oh and what of your daydreams about kissing young Jasper, mademoiselle, hmmm?" she reminded me.

I blushed profusely. "It appears that my affections for Jasper are nothing more than those for a friend," I admitted to Rosalie, "and after meeting the vicomte, it is clearer to me than ever."

Rosalie looked grave for a moment and seemed to hesitate before replying, "Isabelle…be careful of your heart, mon ami. The vicomte is a grown man of nineteen and you are but a sixteen year old girl."

I stomped my foot, "I will be seventeen within the month, Rosalie; I am no longer a child."

Rosalie merely raised her eyebrows at me. In a huff, I grabbed the nearest book off the dressing table and made my way out of the apartments in a muslin gown with my hair flowing loosely down my back. It didn't take long to reach my favorite reading spot, a small pavilion overlooking a little folly built into the rear of a rarely used flower garden at the side of the palace.

As I walked, I mumbled to myself about Rosalie's stupid comments about my age. I wasn't some green girl fresh out of the nursery. I flung myself on the sofa at the rear of the pavilion and gazed out at the beauty before me. This garden had been left to grow wildly and I loved it here. Clumps of flowers rose up from the ground, almost to my waist and tall shrubs vied for the sun beneath the low ceiling of weeping willows lining the banks of the small creek that flowed past the folly. I let the peace and quiet of my sanctuary wash over me and then calmly opened my book and lost myself within the words.

A throat clearing above me, startled me out of my deep contemplation, and I looked up into the green eyes of the man who had rarely left my thoughts for days. I jumped in shock, not having heard his approach, and blushed, again.

"Bonjour mademoiselle, pardon my interruption, but I wanted to compliment you on your reading of Voltaire the other day. The depth of emotions as you read such a complicated work seemed so mature for a girl of your age. It was riveting."

I blushed at the compliment, and then noticed he too was carrying a book.

"Oh, I am sorry, vicomte, did I interrupt your peace?" I stammered out, looking up and into his laughing eyes.

"Well, you did make a lot of noise, huffing and mumbling when you arrived but then all became quiet as you started to read." He laughed and I turned red with mortification and made to leave the pavilion.

"Oh, please don't leave, mademoiselle, I am only teasing you. It is quite refreshing to share such a beautiful place with someone of like minded interests. I am quite sick to death of all the simpering ladies batting their eyelashes at me and boring me with their tales of the latest on dit.

"Come, show me what you are reading and maybe we can discuss it." He said as he sat down beside me at the other end of the sofa. I handed him my book and then become flustered when he burst out laughing when he read the cover.

"Racine…you are reading Racine?" I nodded in consternation at the tone of his voice.

"Does your Papa know you are reading this, mademoiselle? It seems a little mature for one as young as yourself." He declared incredulously.

The vicomte thinks I am a little girl, not a young woman with whom to dally.

My heart broke into tiny little pieces at the thought and I could barely contain my emotions at the revelation.

"What's this?" the vicomte said as he touched a finger to my chin and lifted it to stare into my eyes. "Why the tears, mademoiselle?"

I shook my head, unable to speak to him of my distress, and ran from the pavilion, desperate now to get away from the piercing eyes of the vicomte. I had not gone far when I literally ran into Jasper as I rounded the corner of the garden. He laughed and swung me into his arms in a bear hug.

"Oh, how I have missed you, sweet Isabelle, my friend." He cried and hugged me close.

I hugged him back but something desperate drove me to prove myself all grown up. I lifted my face from Jasper's chest and deposited a quick kiss onto his lips. I heard two indrawn breaths. One breath came from immediately behind me and the other directly in front of me. Jasper stared at me, his startled eyes never leaving mine, as he quickly set me down and away from him.

I heard footsteps retreating in the garden behind me, and turning, saw the midnight blue overcoat and the bronze hair of the vicomte disappearing around the corner.

"Ah hem!" Jasper's throat clearing brought my attention back to him. He was standing there with his hands on his hips, glaring at me. "Why did you kiss me, Isabelle?" he demanded.

"Because I am not a little girl any longer, Jasper, and I wanted to be kissed!" I declared, a little tremulously, at the look in his eyes.

"Do you even realize what you have done?" he remonstrated with me. I shook my head, tears starting again at his tone of voice. He was so very angry with me.

"Oh, Isabelle…haven't you realized from my letters that I am courting the Lady Alice, the vicomte's sister? The very same vicomte who just saw you kissing me." He sighed. "I need to talk to him." Jasper said as he took off at a run in the direction that I had last seen the vicomte take.

Oh dear…what have I done?

In absolute misery, I took flight and returned to my room, flopping onto the bed completely distraught. Rosalie bustled in not long after and spying my tears, sat on the bed and lifted me into a hug, singing a lullaby to soothe my aching heart. I clung to her as I cried out my pain.

I hardly saw Jasper or the vicomte over the next few days, although I talked to Jasper briefly as we passed in the halls yesterday. He had replied, after my whispered question, that the vicomte was satisfied that it was all a mistake and that he had not made advances to me. I was relieved for Jasper and felt truly terrible for using him to take out my frustrations with the vicomte.

In the end, I had merely confirmed the vicomte's view of me as a flighty, immature little girl with a temper. My father noticed my ill temper and queried me on it. I was close to my papa and explained to him about kissing Jasper in the garden at which time he had turned startled eyes to mine and shook his head whispering, "forward little madam."

I cried into Papa's chest that the vicomte would never love me like I loved him. He shushed me and patted my back, remarking, "It is all for the best, mon ange. La Fayette is returning to America soon and the vicomte will be accompanying him. Who knows how long he will remain there."

Far from comforting me, Papa's words on the vicomte's imminent departure set me to crying in earnest. Now he will be lost to me forever.

I continued my frequent excursions to the secret garden hoping to see him again, and determined to enjoy what little time I had left of his company if he did come. The vicomte did invade the quiet of my pavilion every now and again and happily he bade me stay each time I moved to leave him in peace. It was strangely relaxing and comfortable to sit there with him across the room on the other sofa, occasionally discussing the books that we were reading. We never once discussed the kiss he had overseen with Jasper, nor the reason for my tears from that first day.

Each time he left the pavilion he would bow low over my hand as if I were a great lady, kiss my hand and tell me how much of a pleasure my quiet company was. I glowed from his words and the feel of his lips on my hand lingered long after he had walked away.

Rosalie had been acting very strange for a few days, watching me closely with a furrowed brow. I demanded she tell me what was bothering her, but when she did, I wish I had never asked, as the tales she told me plunged me into so deep a melancholy that I was certain I would never recover.

My Edouard, the vicomte, who had earlier eschewed the company of the ladies of the court for the quietness of the gardens, now seemed to seek out their company. Rosalie had heard tales of his recent exploits and the nicknames that some of the ladies had given him once they had sampled the delights of his form. Although I had resigned myself to the idea that I was too young for him, I had not thought that he would pursue someone else.

Rosalie had to explain what some of the nicknames meant. I blushed when she explained that M. Gode was a compliment to the admirable proportions of his manly parts and his stamina. When I asked her what la langue habile meant, she blushed. "Well he is very quick witted and speaks eloquently but I don't understand why they would call him clever tongue?" I announced. Rosalie leaned in to whisper in my ear, "Isabelle, the ladies are complimenting the vicomte on how he uses his tongue on their lady bits, not his skills at conversation."

He puts his tongue there?

I really couldn't imagine someone wanting to do that; however, Rosalie laughed and said that it was a very fine thing indeed. I raised my eyebrow at her coquettishness and she just giggled. "One day, sweet Isabelle…one day you will experience it for yourself and then you will not be so sceptical."

Rosalie's words struck at my heart. I was so jealous of the ladies who had been intimate with the vicomte. If you believed half the rumours then the vicomte could not possibly have slept a wink. I was curious, yet loathed to know, who he had favoured with his attention.

The evening prior to La Fayette's, and therefore the vicomtes', departure, Maman and Papa attended a Ball in the grand ballroom. I snuck into a little alcove at the rear of the ballroom hoping to see him. The mirrored room was ablaze with lights and swirling dresses and handsome men. My eyes automatically searched for a bronze head and I spied him shortly thereafter on the dance floor waltzing with Lauren, duchesse du Mallory. Lauren was quite beautiful, in her late twenties, and married to the much older and very wealthy duc du Mallory.

A few dances later, I watched the vicomte lead the duchesse off the floor and walk straight past my hiding place onto the terrace outside. My curiosity got the better of me and I followed them at a distance until they entered the glasshouse harbouring all manner of exotic greenery. I crept in after them and secreted myself behind a very large pillar. The duchesse giggled annoyingly and I was shocked that after the vicomte's comments to me about the vacuousness of the ladies, that he was entertaining Lauren now.

It seemed that they were not here to idly chat about literature or music but for seduction. I was mortified but something held me there as the vicomte lifted the duchesses heavy locks and kissed down her neck and across her décolletage. As he lifted the heavy globes of the duchesses' breasts out of her low cut bodice, he flicked her nipples with his tongue and I felt a tingle in my own nipples at his action.

The vicomte then laid the duchesse down onto one of the sofas, which seemed to be installed in all manner of places throughout the palace, and lifted her skirts over her head. I was fascinated as the vicomte's long slender fingers caressed her mons and then slipped inside the folds to rub quickly over the little nub I knew to be housed there, to the chorus of the duchesses' moans.

I soon learned how the vicomte came by his nickname when he slid two fingers inside her and then leaned down to lick at her nub with his tongue. The duchesse went wild and thrashed around on the sofa until the vicomte placed his free hand on her stomach and held her still. My own cunny was tingling at the sight before me and I was unconsciously pressing on my mons through my dress to find some relief from the feelings coursing through me watching the vicomte's tongue perform so intimate an act.

As the duchesse screamed her release, the vicomte stood and undid the tie to his breeches and pulled them down around his thighs. His member jutted out, thick and long, and I licked my lips at the sight before me. I had inadvertently seen Jasper's man thing when we were much younger and I had come upon him swimming in the creek in the nude, but here before me was the body of a full grown man, and there was no comparison.

Without further ado, he covered his protuberance with a flimsy looking sheath and thrust inside the duchesse where moments before his fingers had been. The vicomte closed his eyes and pounded into the duchesse in an ever increasing tempo. I could see him withdraw from her depths, his length slick with her juices before slamming back in. My chest grew tight as I watched his taut buttocks clench and unclench as he moved in and out of her.

I wished that it was me with my legs dangling over his arms as he pushed himself inside me and my cunny clenched at the thought. My fingers pressed and rubbed faster and faster in time with each of his thrusts, pressure building within me until I tipped over the edge of the chasm, all feeling spiralling out of control.

I inadvertently uttered a low moan following my release and suddenly the vicomte's head snapped in my direction and his eyes penetrated the darkness to latch onto mine. His eyes widened when he saw me and his jaw clenched as he thrust jerkily one more time before letting out a strangled groan and whispered my name.

I was held immobile by the look in his eyes but as he withdrew from the duchesse, I ran from the greenhouse and back to my room, too embarrassed to face him, not knowing if he'd seen what I had done and certain he would be furious at my watching him.

The next day I refused to leave the apartments and instead sat at my window and watched the hustle and bustle of the grooms loading up the carriage and readying the horses for La Fayette's departure. I spied the vicomte coming around the side of the palace from the direction of our folly and knew that he had gone there looking for me, probably to request my silence as the duchesse had been married.

Jasper came to see me before he left the Palace. He was leaving for America in the company of the vicomte and his beloved Alice. Before Jasper left, he handed to me a book, a gift from the vicomte for the lovely afternoon of Voltaire. I clutched it to my chest after reading the short inscription inside, avoiding the knowing smirk from Jasper. After a quick, chaste hug he left with a promise to write to me when he arrived in America.

I returned to my place at the window and watched as the last of the baggage was loaded and then ignored the tears coursing down my face as the carriage carrying the three dragoons wheeled around the fountain in the forecourt and thundered down the concourse and out of my life. "Au revoir," I whispered to the empty courtyard.

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Paris, France July 1789

~Edouard~

Although it had been six years since I had set foot on French soil, it felt like yesterday. I loved living in the state of Virginia in America but France was in my blood and I was home. The ship had docked in Calais a week ago and I had ridden straight through to Paris stopping only to sleep in order to meet with the marquis de La Fayette or Lafayette as he was now known here in Paris, distancing himself from the nobility as he worked towards bringing more equality and better living conditions to the inhabitants of France.

For years, Lafayette and his wife had utilised their experience and hosted notable Americans visiting Paris in his home on the rue de Bourbon for which I was headed. In fact, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams had met with Lafayette each Monday to discuss French/American trade agreements as well as espouse on the successes of the American revolutionary war and the subsequent Declaration of Independence as a model of living for France. After living in Virginia for six years and experiencing the benefits of such a utilitarian society, I was all in favor of the idea.

Things had changed much in my absence. Although on the surface, everything seemed much the same. As I passed another café, the smell of strong roasted coffee tempted me as did the smell of the galoises. And I am certain the same two old men that were seated on the bench, with the chess board between them, had not moved in the six years I had been gone. They grunted as I went past and then went back to their game, just like they had every other day I had passed them on the way to the rue de Bourbon.

As well as the remembered sounds and sights, there were new unwelcome ones that greeted me. There was a current in the air; a disturbing current that did not bode well for our nation. Disgruntled marketers in Les Halles grumbled about the high price of bread and the unavailability of good produce. Over and over again, I heard the lament that the tax system unfairly placed hardship on the bourgeoisie while the nobility were protected. Only days earlier, Desmoulins had recited the mob to violence and stormed the Bastille.

All around me was unrest and discontent. La Reine, the beautiful Marie-Antoinette, was vilified for her wastrel ways, the flaunting of her wealth and her disdain for the people of Paris. I wisely kept quiet as I listened to these diatribes as I cut through the marketplace.

I knew some of what had happened in my absence, devouring any French newspapers any time I could get my hands on them, and of course there was my irregular correspondence with Lafayette. It was my cousin who had called me back to Paris more than six months ago to assist him with his duties in keeping the peace after the Day of the Tiles in Grenoble in June of last year.

There had been a packet of correspondence handed to me as I had walked in the door to my home on rue Saint Honore, not far from gardens of the Tuileries. It was mostly from the marquis so that I could acquaint myself with the happenings over the last months while I had been at sea. I was saddened to hear of the deaths in the Reveillan Riots in April this year caused by low wages and food shortages. But I was not surprised; this had been building for quite some time.

Lafayette had explained in his letters in detail about the Tennis Court Oath which led to the formation of the National Assembly from the Third Estate last month, being the first time that the ordinary citizens had stood up to Louis XVI to assert their rights. The deputies of the Assembly had pledged to continue to meet until a constitution had been written, despite the royal prohibition. I hoped that the formation of the Assembly would reach a middle ground between the conservatives such as Lafayette and the more radical activists.

I reached the rue de Bourbon and Lafayettes' home, entering eagerly at the thought of seeing my cousin and his wife after such a long absence. After pleasantries were exchanged, Lafayette and I got down to business.

My arrival was most fortuitous, he informed me, as he had not two days since been appointed Commander of the National Guard charged with keeping the peace in these difficult times. I was to take my place in the Guard but not in Paris. He wanted me leading the forces protecting Versailles. At the mention of the palace that I had visited so briefly all those years ago, my breath caught at the sudden image of a pair of serious chocolate brown eyes.

Lafayette proceeded to tell me in more detail about some of the happenings around town and I spoke of the uneasy feelings the walk through Les Halles markets engendered in me. He nodded at my words and bemoaned the rumors that abounded about the Queen specifically and the Royal Family generally. Lafayette was very concerned for her safety.

I was to leave for Versailles in two days hence and meet with the Captain of the household guard, to discuss precautions to be taken in the event of an uprising. Two days was not a lot of time to attend to long outstanding business matters that needed my direction, but I hurried to attend to them before purchasing a thoroughbred to ride to Versailles.

I spent a joyous evening with Jasper and Alice who had returned to Paris five years ago with the marquis. They were so happy together and Alice was expecting their second child. Their first they had named Isabeau and she was a beauty at only three years of age. My little niece had me twisted around her dainty little finger within minutes of meeting her, much like her namesake who I had never forgotten.

The next morning I saddled the horseflesh I had purchased and left not long after the sun rose as planned. The day proved to be sunny and warm and the feel of the heat of the sun on my face reminded me of the summer days I had spent long ago watching the emotions play across the expressive face of Isabelle Swan as we sat in the pavilion overlooking the folly down by the creek.

Isabelle had been young in age and outlook on one hand yet so mature and vibrant in other ways. I remember the first time I had seen her, she was sitting alone in the middle of la Reine's salon, so brave and so lovely as her low husky voice spoke the magical words of Voltaire. I had been captivated and had thought her older, at least eighteen, due to the maturity of the words she was quoting and the way that she had held herself. It was not until Jasper had happily informed me after she had left the room that Isabelle was the young girl with whom he had grown up that I thought to query her age.

I had been disturbed at hearing she was only sixteen, especially after admiring her person as she sat in the chair reading. If she had been even a year older, I would have pursued her. I thought it unlikely that I would be seeing her around court given her age and resolved to put aside any untoward thoughts I may have had regarding her.

Alas, it was only a few days after meeting her for the first time that she crossed my path once more, and this time the impact on me had been catastrophic. I had escaped the confines of the palace and its simpering ladies looking for peace, when I found a small folly hidden away in an overgrown garden around the side of the palace. I remember the peacefulness of that small haven of solitude so well.

That first day, I had soaked in the warmth of the summer sun, fighting to reach me through the drooping leaves of the willow trees lining the banks of the little creek, as I had lain in the grass. The day had grown warm so I had retired to the shade of the pavilion overlooking the garden and the comfortable sofas within. I had brought a novel by Montesquieu with me but the drone of the bee's drifting from flower to flower in the garden and the warmth permeating the air caused me to drift off into a light slumber.

I had no idea how long I had been asleep but a low rumbling noise had woken me with a start, in time to see Isabelle striding towards the pavilion, book under her arm muttering under her breath about almost being seventeen and not straight out of the nursery. Looking at her then, I could definitely have believed she was older. Her silky brown hair had been long and unrestrained as it floated around her shoulders and down her back. She had been dressed casually in a white muslin dress but I could tell that her figure was already fully developed beneath the gown as it clung to her lithe body as she strode towards me.

My breath caught as she moved into the pavilion and dropped onto the sofa almost immediately across from where I was laying. From my vantage point, which I realized was in shadow and her eyes had not yet become accustomed to the gloom after the bright sunshine, I saw that her delicate pale skin was free from the heavy whitening that many of the court women employed.

The natural hue of her skin had drawn me in, as did her pale pink lips that she bit when deep in concentration, as she immersed herself into the book she had brought. I had watched her for a while, completely enchanted, before succumbing to my need to talk to her. I remember getting up from my seat and standing awkwardly before her, waiting for her to notice me. Finally, I cleared my throat and her startled eyes had risen to mine. Her chocolate eyes gazed up at me through her long lashes and then she blushed, I was done.

I remember teasing her then about her disturbing my peace with her mumbling and then became bold and sat down beside her to discuss literature with her. Something told me she would have interesting opinions on things other than the latest scandal or on dit. Then I went and ruined the afternoon by alluding that she was a child and too young to read Racine. I had made her cry and it broke my heart to see the tears welling up in her eyes and spilling over her lashes onto her cheeks.

She ran from me then and the pain of her leaving me had been unbelievably potent. How could this young woman, without coquettishness or wiles, have captured my heart and mind so quickly? Many woman, baser born and noble alike had pursued me from the time I was fifteen, and oft, I had taken my pleasure, but surprisingly less than the rumors would indicate. My heart had remained whole until now.

I hadn't been able to let her run away thinking I thought her childish. Yes, she had been too young to pursue romantically, but not too young to maintain a friendship. I was only three years older than her after all. I was so sure I would be able to bide my time and wait until she was old enough to court properly. I would be in America for a year but planned to return to Versailles and Isabelle.

That was when I had run after her like a foolish sap to apologize to her for my boorish behaviour. I hadn't known true agony until the moment I turned the corner of the hedgerow and I spied her with her lips pressed to Jasper's with his arms wrapped tightly around her. My heart had clenched in pain. Isabelle loved another. Sacre bleu!

As the rage blossomed in my chest thinking about her soft form pressed against Jasper and her pretty pink lips ardently kissing his, I had wheeled around and strode back through the garden the way I had come. If I had stayed, I would have done something I would regret, like punching Jasper, my best friend…hard…pummelling him into the ground until his blood would spurt and I would know he would be hurting as I was now.

Why had he been the one that Isabelle had gifted her lips to…her heart to? I had longed for it to be my lips that she had kissed and my arms that had been wrapped around her, our hearts beating as one. I had groaned in frustration at the direction of my thoughts. It was unlike me to be so melodramatic.

When Jasper had finally caught up with me pacing in one of the many gardens of Versailles, I had realized that I should have been spitting mad at him for betraying Alice, my beloved sister. I confess I had been rather belligerent with my friend as he tried to explain the situation to me and I had threatened more than once to follow through with my plan of causing him bodily harm. Eventually, the only thing that had stopped my blustering had been Jasper catching me off guard, mid rant, and depositing me in one of the many fountains dotted throughout the gardens.

As I had surfaced from the water, sputtering and red faced for having been caught unawares, Jasper had emphatically denied any wrongdoing with Isabelle. He reminded me again that they had grown up together, even though he was two years older, and reiterated that he had only hugged her in greeting as a close friend when she had taken it upon herself to kiss him, without provocation. Jasper had assured me he loved Alice dearly and would never betray her.

He was so sincere, and I believed him. Unfortunately, that meant that Isabelle had still run from me and kissed Jasper because she wanted to. Oh what a tangled web!

I had seen Jasper and Isabelle strolling together a few times after that, and each time, I watched her face as she watched him…avidly, soaking up everything he had to say. I was convinced she was in love. It hurt more than I had thought possible but I couldn't stay away.

I put myself through heaven and hell by returning to the folly over and over again, desperate for any scrap of her attention. I found the times we spent there reading and idly chatting soothed my soul. As we sat on the facing sofas, I would watch her through my lashes as she read under her breath on occasion and in turns, laugh and cry at the words. She was exquisite.

That was by day. But by night, I had tried to numb the pain of unrequited love by turning to drinking and gambling and it had worked to a certain extent. Knowing Isabelle would never be mine, I had finally succumbed to the pleasures of the flesh so freely offered. I had been discreet, or so I thought, and limited myself to sampling the wares of the recently widowed vicomtesse, Jessica.

The vicomtesse, it turns out, had not been so discreet in her time of mourning and soon I eventually heard all manner of rumors passing through the ladies and gentleman of the court. Jessica had named my appendage a giant love stick and Monsieur Dildo? Morbleu! I bid adieu to Jessica after remonstrating with her about her lack of decorum.

The last week of my stay in Versailles had been arduous and distressing. There had been so many details of the upcoming trade mission to America to sort out and I had had very little free time. On top of that, Isabelle had taken to avoiding me. I had seen her once briefly in the halls hurrying away from me. I missed her terribly.

The night before we left, I attended a Ball in the Hall of Mirrors. I had danced and drank the copious amounts of champagne overflowing the glasses. I did all that was expected of me and I thought I had had everybody fooled. As I danced with the comtesse du Mallory, however, she inquired about my distress, and offered to soothe my worries.

I had pleasured the comtesse with my tongue and then I had fucked her trying to expunge my hopeless infatuation of Isabelle from my mind, however just as I had reached my release, I had heard a sound and looked up into the horrified eyes of my young love before she ran from me once more.

Sacre bleu! I had been such a fool.

Here I am six long years later and finally returning to Versailles. I had planned to remain in America only for the designated year but after Jasper told me that there was talk of a betrothal between Isabelle and Michel, the duc du Newtonne, I had gladly taken over the marquis' role as the French/American trade envoy.

I had tried to move on and I had many offers for my company but I found no one who could compare to Isabelle. I refused to countenance the idea of taking a wife while my thoughts and heart were still in France. For the last few years, I had had an arrangement with Jane, who had been widowed during the American Revolution. She missed her husband desperately and we offered each other comfort and physical release. She became a close friend and I told her all about Isabelle and she in turn talked about her lost love, Marcus. It wasn't perfect but it was all we could offer each other. I was happy that before I left, Jane confided in me that she had met someone who gave her hope that her heart was not completely broken.

I was making good time on the road from Paris to Versailles, being just over 10 miles, and soon I was clattering up the concourse and the marble majesty of the palace loomed before me. Time had dimmed the effect the palace had on the senses on first sight. It was breathtaking.

After stabling my horse, I made my way to the offices of the Royal Guard. My papers had directed me to liaise with the captain of the house guard to make arrangements for the contingent of National Guards who would soon be descending on the Palace to supplement the forces guarding the Royal Family. My meeting with Emmett went well. I remembered him from my previous visit when we had indulged a number of times in sword play to hone our skills.

After I was shown to my rooms by Alex, the valet assigned to me for the duration of my visit, I could resist no longer and made my way to the garden that held so many memories. The pavilion was sadly empty of the one person I longed to see and as I sank down on the sofa, I thought I could detect a slight scent of freesia in the air. Her scent. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that Isabelle had been here today and my heart raced.

I tried to contain my excitement that soon I might see her. It was futile. After Jasper's words as I left their home last night, I could barely contain the little bubble of hope blossoming in my chest that all might not be lost with the fair Isabelle. Jasper had hugged me close and told me that Isabelle had refused all offers of marriage made to her over the years. I raised my eyebrow at his declaration, never having confessed to Jasper about my infatuation with Isabelle. Blushing, he confessed to reading the inscription on the book he had taken to Isabelle.

The King and Queen had granted me an audience that afternoon and I was nervous. I had quizzed Alex about the happenings of the Court over the last few years and in particular those close to the Royal Family. When Isabelle's name was mentioned as one of the Queen's ladies and not her mothers, I inquired whether the comtesse de la Roqueforte had retired from the position. Alas I was informed that the comtesse had succumbed to an illness several months ago along with the comte. I was now more than anxious to see Isabelle.

My thoughts were only of her as I prepared for the meeting with the Royals. She would be in attendance and I wanted to look my best. An hour later, I was champing at the bit for Alex to finish my preparations. I had forgotten how tedious court life could be. Alex wanted to dress me in gold but I flatly refused. I had brought my dress uniform with me and I insisted on wearing the dark navy coat, a patterned blue vest, cream breeches and white stockings with black buckled shoes. Alex had wanted to tie my stockings with a lurid pink ribbon and pouted when I demanded the plain navy instead. The final touch was to secure my brightly polished sword.

And then it was time. I was ushered into the Salon and announced. My eyes immediately sought hers and my breath was taken away by the sight of her. She had always been lovely but, now at twenty two, she was simply breathtaking in a deep violet hued gown. When I had first spied her, her lovely eyes had been wide with surprise and, dare I say it, joy for seeing me once more. But, as my gaze lingered on her, I could see the shutters coming down and a haughty look of disdain taking its place.

The King indicated I should come forward and I sat in a chair to his left as we discussed my plans for the safety of the inhabitants of the Palace in these times of growing unrest. As always I found le Roi to be of sharp mind and, in a short time, we had finished all that needed to be discussed. My place at the King's side was soon taken by the minister for Finance and I was free to wander the room. As I sauntered away from the Royals, I greeted a number of familiar faces, always moving closer and closer to Isabelle.

Isabelle was discussing Beaumarchais' comedy with the King's brother, comte de Artois who turned and smiled as I had approached.

"Vichy…good to see you! Louis mentioned that you were returning to our shores after his meeting with Lafayette last month. You look well."

"Merci, Artois. It is good to be back."

"Did you meet mademoiselle Isabelle when you were last here? Isabelle, ma cher, this is Edouard, the vicomte du Vichy, newly appointed Captain in the National Guards."

I bowed deeply and took her hand in mine. It trembled and I kissed her fingers lingeringly. "Enchanté mademoiselle, it is a pleasure to see you again. It has been too long."

"Vicomte." She acknowledged haughtily, and turned back to the duc to ask if he would be attending the theatre that evening for the Beaucharmais comedy and discussing the intricacies of the play.

I could not hold back my smile. I had been secretly afraid that Isabelle would not even remember me from all those years ago which would have crushed me. The tremble of her hands and the haughty way she dismissed me made my heart sing. Her actions told me that she had not forgotten me or probably forgiven me. She might not be happy with me but I affected her.

I bowed to Isabelle and the comte taking my leave of them, but as I started to turn, the duc invited me to attend the theatre that evening in his box. I accepted, not missing the grimace on Isabelle's face. I was guessing that Isabelle was to be a guest of the duc as well and was not happy I would be there.

I really couldn't blame Isabelle. It had been six years since she had seen me and the occasion had not been my finest hour, breechless and balls deep inside the married duchesse. I was guessing that the silly rumors spread by Jessica wouldn't help my case either. This time I wouldn't stay silent about my feelings and I wouldn't give up so easily either. I had a plan.

That evening, dressed in my finery – I had allowed Alex to replace my more conservative waistcoat with my gold embroidered one and my black superfine coat – I made my way to the comte's box at the theatre within the palace. I groaned when I entered and the first person I saw was the duchesse du Mallory and her ancient husband. I bowed and conversed with them both briefly, and moved past them to seek out my love. I jumped when the duchesse pinched my buttocks and whispered in my ear that she would enjoy another walk in the garden with me. Non merci!

My plans seemed doomed to failure when I escaped the duchess's clutches only to see Isabelle with one eyebrow raised dramatically. She glared at me and then took her seat beside the princess de Lamballe at the front of the box. Not to be outfoxed, I took the seat immediately behind and to the left of her. The comte de Artois was seated next to her and on seeing me take my seat and waiting for the play to commence, quizzed me on my role in the trade relations in Virginia. I had come to know him quite well on my last visit and we had bonded somewhat over our love for the arts.

"Vichy, I thought we would have seen you back in France long before now. If I recall you were to come back with Lafayette. Did you decide to turn native, my good man?"

I laughed and could not believe my good fortune. I leaned forward to answer the comte and "accidently" brushed my lips against the edge of Isabelle's naked shoulder. She shivered and I smiled. "Almost Artois…almost. I did intend to return with my cousin, but I received news just before we sailed that an interest of mine had become unavailable, so I decided to stay for a while longer." Isabelle gasped. I smiled wider.

The play commenced then and I sat back in my chair and watched Isabelle and the play of emotions across her face as the play progressed. I left the box just after the play finished and returned to my room to plan the seduction of one Isabelle Swan.

At first light I met Emmett for sword practice on the south lawn, after which I visited the folly and left a copy of Memoir by Rochefoucauld on the cushions of the sofa in the pavilion. It would serve to remind her that I had not forgotten the message I had left her on the cover of my old copy. The night before, I had found my copy and asked Alex to find me a violet ribbon to mark the page I wanted her to read. I underlined the passage with a fountain pen.

Absence diminishes mediocre passion and increases a great one, as the wind extinguishes candles and fans fires. (Rochefoucauld)

It was accompanied by a bunch of purple Hyacinth asking her to forgive me.

The rest of the Guard arrived the next day and I was dismayed at the small number. Versailles was enormous with many points of entry and it would be very difficult to protect if it was attacked with a force of any size. I wrote to the marquis requesting more but he replied that the unrest in Paris was increasing by the day and he needed all the men he had. I had to do the best with what I had.

My presence was requested at many of the entertainments, card parties and supper parties where entertainment was provided by opera singers and musicians. Each time I greeted Isabelle, my lips lingered on her fingers and I stayed close by her side, which proved more difficult than I imagined. She was popular within the Court and many tried to monopolize her attention including Michel, duc de Newtonne despite her apparent refusal of his suit many years ago. She had not yet softened towards me and I resolved to double my efforts.

The next morning after an early morning ride around the perimeter of the palace grounds, I searched the gardens for a camellia of the palest pink and left a note tied with the same hued ribbon that read "the pink camellia is a symbol of my feelings about you." When she looked it up, she would see that a pink camellia means longing for you. The day after that, I left her a red camellia with a similar note. It meant that she was a fire in my heart.

My plans for seduction were interspersed with preparations and constant training with the Guard. Matters were worsening in Paris daily with news of peasants arming themselves in response to the militia guarding grain supplies. I had even heard tales of some manor houses being attacked which had made me even more concerned about the security of Versailles.

I started writing out love poems and little love quotes from different authors and leaving them for her with different hued tulips symbolising perfect love. I always left them early for her to find but had not yet returned to the folly when I knew she would be there. I needed her to be a little bit dazzled with me so that I would be fairly certain when we were alone, she would be more accepting of my explanations and declarations of my feelings.

The weeks had been busy with news from Paris. In early August, the National Assembly abolished feudal rights of the nobility and the tithes (taxes) previously collected by the clergy in what became referred to as the August Acts. I had several letters from Lafayette, as well as meetings when he and other members of the National Assembly met at Versailles, while they were drafting documents modelled on the American Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen was adopted by the National Assembly in late August.

The king had vacillated on signing the August Acts and when he had not yet ratified them by September 11, matters deteriorated even further.

I was anxious to get things settled with Isabelle. I wanted to be in a position where I would be able to protect her all the time, and to do that I needed to make my move. She had started to seek my company out at various gatherings and yesterday she had left a gift of a fob watch for me at the pavilion. I wasn't sure what it meant. Could it mean that it was time for me to declare myself…or that too much time had passed?

I spent the night tossing and turning and was unable to get to the garden during the day as I had meetings with the King and Lafayette and some new Guards had arrived from Paris and there were a number of logistical issues to resolve. In the late evening when the gardens were lit by lanterns dotted here and there, I made my way to drop off my gift for the next day. It was a copy of the book Utopia by Sir Thomas More, with a note that my utopia would be a world where she loved me too. I added my final flower gift, a Dahlia to say that I was forever hers.

I never expected for one moment that she would be there in the pavilion waiting for me with a bunch of candles scattered around the room. On the table in the centre of the room was a bunch of Ambrosia – my love was reciprocated. I stopped at the doorway and gazed at her in the flickering candlelight uncertain as to whether I could possibly be dreaming. Her skin looked even creamier in the candlelight and her lips seemed to take on an even darker hue than normal.

As I stared at her, she bit her lip and beckoned to me. I moved forward and dropped to my knees in front of her seated on the sofa. As I kneeled there, she extended her hand to me and I kissed it lingeringly before handing my final gift to her. She took the book from my hands and examined the rare tome reverently and then smiled when she read the note enclosed. As I handed her the bunch of Dahlias, she whispered, "Forever Mine." I nodded. "I have been yours from the first moment I saw you."

"Did you stay in America all this time because you thought I was betrothed to someone else?" she whispered and I nodded. "I did not realize you felt that way about me until I read your inscription and it was too late. I loved you from the minute I saw you. I have waited for you."

"I'm sorry…I…" I started to explain but she placed her fingers on my lips and shook her head. "There is no need for explanations; your gifts have said all I need to know."

As Isabelle sat back on to the sofa, she drew me up beside her and unbuttoned her heavy black cloak, revealing a gossamer thin nightrail almost translucent in the candlelight. I could see her pale pink nipples pressing against the fabric and I quickly looked back up to her face, startled by the sight before me.

"Life is too short and these times are dangerous beyond anything I have ever known. I'm scared and I need you to love me, Edouard." I didn't hesitate, I too wanted to claim her for my own. I nodded and whispered, "I love you, Isabelle. I love you with all my heart and I am going to show you how much."

I took my dearest Isabelle's face in my hands and finally my lips touched hers, gently at first, reverently, and then more firmly as passion took hold of us. I peppered her face with kisses and then slid my lips down her graceful neck sucking lightly on the skin as I went. Isabelle shivered and brought her hands up to move my coat from my shoulders. We disrobed each other slowly, kissing each area of skin that was revealed, until finally we were both bare.

"Beautiful," I whispered as I gazed at her naked form as she lay back on the pillows with her arms extended to draw me to her. I kissed her mouth and then her clavicles, one after the other, then cupped her sweet breasts in my hands lavishing kisses on the velvet globes and suckling on them gently. Her moans at my attentions encouraged me to explore further so I dropped my lips to circle her belly button and then down to place a worshipful kiss on her mound.

"Please…Edouard…please," Isabelle whispered as she gripped my hair tightly in her fingers. I, of course, obliged…delighted that Isabelle was no prude. I held her nether lips gently open with my fingers and placed a series of light kisses directly onto the nub revealed within her folds. Isabelle shivered and moaned and I increased the pressure before sliding my tongue down her slit and teasing her cunt. Isabelle's grip on my hair was almost painful as I continued my ministrations, alternating between licking her clit and fucking her tight little cunny with my tongue. It didn't take long before I was lapping at her sweet nectar as she screamed and came hard, shaking against my tongue and gripping my fingers inside her.

While she was still shuddering from her release, I moved up her body and kissed her deeply as I teased her entrance with my weeping erection. My arms trembled at the restraint I employed to stop for a moment as the head of my cock slid inside and I waited for her body to adjust to my size. Isabelle had initially tensed at my intrusion but relaxed as her body adjusted to accommodate me. Just being inside her this little way was exquisite torture, she was so tight and warm.

I withdrew a little and pushed back in a little further, repeating the action to draw her arousal out, until I reached her barrier. I warned her in a whisper that the next thrust would hurt but the more relaxed she was the easier it would go for her. She took a deep breath and looked up at me with a smile on her face. "I'm ready," she whispered and I thrust hard and broke through the barrier. I stilled again until her pain wore away and bent to kiss her deeply. "I love you." I simply said and she replied, "And I you."

Isabelle took a deep breath and wiggled, the tight grip her body had on me gradually lessening. My hands drifted down to her hips and I held them slightly raised to ease the fullness inside her. I drew out slowly feeling every inch of her walls clasping me tightly. With just the tip still inside, I just as slowly sank back into her depths. Isabelle's breathing hitched and she gave a small moan as my length withdrew slowly again and I repeated this exquisite pace until her arousal was dripping onto my balls and her legs were boneless and loose around me.

My hands moved around to clasp her buttocks and lifted her a little higher and on the next slow thrust I slid a little deeper. I closed my eyes for a moment delighting in the feelings coursing through me. I had never felt like this before in any couplings and I knew it was because Isabelle's pleasure had become more important than my own. 'Harder….faster," Isabelle whispered and I obeyed. Gathering her close to me I kissed her as my thrusts became more forceful and she moaned around my lips. I sped up and I could feel my release building in time with the clenching of her cunny around my cock. She was so tight and warm and when she started to shake and grip my length harder, I slid my hand between us and pinched her clit. Isabelle came on my cock, her orgasm drawn out as I continued to love her until I too reached my release.

We lay there quietly for a while, kissing and stroking and murmuring our love when Isabelle asked me whether this was a good time for me to get romantically involved given the danger all around us. She was worried about me getting distracted by her and getting killed.

"Isabelle, mon amour, I would have been more distracted not knowing whether you returned my love." I stated with great conviction.

"But what about the …."

"Isabelle…c'est la vie." That's life.

~.~.~.~.~.~.~

Translations:

Ma bichette – little deer

Non – no

Oui – yes

Morbleu!– zounds!

Voilà! – behold!

Mon Ange – my angel

Dauphin – prince

Vite! Vite! – quick quick

Merci – thank you

La Reine – Queen

Le Roi – King

Mon ami – my friend

Bonjour – good morning or good day

Au revoir – till we meet again

Sacre bleu – goddamn

– monsieur dildo

Mon amour – my love