I assume Queen Elizabeth and England are a popular pairing. But I must tell this story to tell my next. I imagine this one won't be long when all is said and done. T for Teen for future non explicit sexy times, England as a character is of course not mine. Enjoy! Oh, and I always like feedback, so if you'd be so kind as to review that would be lovely :)
I was waiting. And I so hate waiting. I busied myself among the treats and flowers in my lady's boudoir, celebratory gifts from the finest families in England, Scotland and the civilized world. I fingered gold and jeweled trinkets, ate from a bundle of grapes, sighed and sunk into an elegantly carved chair in the corner of the room.
The door to the boudoir burst open. a cavalcade of flittery women poured through the entry, chattering excitedly and squealing at the sight of such delights on display: chocolates from Spain, sumptuous cloth from France, fruits from Italy. They cooed and sighed and busied themselves with arranging things just so.
A young woman, chin high, brows raised, fiery hair streaming down her back and brushing the pinched waist of her forest-green silk gown, entered the room. There was a hush among the women, and all curtsied in unison. The woman cast her gaze around the room, her face a mask. Then she cracked a smile.
"Well, my ladies," she said, picking up her skirts and pattering to the bedecked tables. "What has the world to give to the Queen of England?"
The women giggled and swamped the young queen, draping her in necklaces and feathers and brocade. The queen laughed, forcing slices of orange and apricot on the girls who dutifully declined before, with mocking regret, accepted the treats.
"All right, enough, enough!" the young woman said, waving her entourage away. The women protested, but obeyed, giving the queen a wide birth as she turned away from them and stepped lightly around the table. "It has been a very long few days, my ladies. Please, leave me be but for an hour and I will be most grateful. A bit of peace is all I wish for."
The women curtsied and filed out of the room, still chattering amongst themselves. The queen waited until the very last lady swished away, closing the door behind her, then let out a long, deep, content moan and lowered herself into a chair by the table. She smiled, picking up a gilt hand mirror, lifting it to eye level and twisting it in her hand.
"Queen Elizabeth," she said quietly. "Goodness, can you imagine?"
"Yes, I can," I said wearily.
Elizabeth gasped and jumped up from her chair, ruffling her skirts. She turned toward my corner, fear in her eyes. Quickly the fear was replaced by the mask, and her back straightened.
"Who are you?" she asked, her voice firm. "And how did you come to be in my chambers? Speak quickly, or I shall scream for the guards."
I hopped up from the chair and bowed.
"No need for that your majesty," I said, lifting from my bow and walking to the gift-laden table. Elizabeth backed away from me, carefully keeping me in her line of site. "I have merely come to introduce myself formally. You've been cycling through the tiresome process of coronation, and I haven't had the chance. Of course, I was at sea for much of it. Never did like the ceremonies, much too fussy."
I stole more grapes from her table and popped them in my mouth.
"You have not yet answered my question, sir," Elizabeth said, her voice rising. "Tell me now. Who are you?"
"Oh, yes, of course." I waved a hand over my head as I picked through dried figs for a good one. "I am England, naturally. I am sure you are familiar with me, yes? Ah, these figs look a little off to me. What do you think?"
I held out a few of the fruits for her to examine. Wide eyed, she shook her head.
"Guards!" she cried. "Guards!"
Four burly men burst through the door waving pikes and canvassing the room.
"Your majesty, what is the trouble?" one cried.
"That man," she said, pointing at me. "Take him! He is quite mad!"
The four men looked at me, confused, then back at the queen.
"I…I don't understand," the leader said, coming out of his stance. "Who are we to take?"
"What, are you blind?" the queen said crossly. "The man right there! In front of you!"
"But – but I can't," the leader said, his face twisting in an effort to work out what he was being asked to do. He shook his head, bringing a hand to his cheek. "I mean I could, but – I feel strange."
"Please, your majesty, I don't believe your men have any desire to lock up their country," I said mildly, letting the figs fall from my hand to the table. "A patriotic lot they are. All you're succeeding at is hurting their poor brains with paradoxes and implications and a lot of other nonsense they can't quite comprehend."
The queen blinked, pursed her lips and stomped her foot.
"Go," she said sharply to the guards.
"I said go!"
The guards bowed and quickly left, shooting nervous glances at their queen.
"Wonderful, the seeds of doubt are sewn," I grumbled, leaning against the table. "And I was so hoping you would live a while. Do you know how nerve-racking it is to introduce oneself to a new boss every five years or so? So inconvenient."
The queen shook her head, scowling at me.
"Who are you, you crazed man?" she said, stepping around me, her voice withering. "That you can hide in plain sight in my room, bemuse my guards and consider yourself worthy of speaking to me so freely? WE are England, you impertinent creature! Leave us! Now!"
I sighed and rolled my eyes.
"Must it always be so dramatic?" I grumbled, drumming my fingers on the table top. "Really, you Tudors are all about the flare. I am simply an employee. Or perhaps an employer. I've never really worked out how this all works. Still, call for me and I will do your bidding. Until someone comes along with a stronger bid, anyway. Ha!"
The queen did not move, her eyes still narrowed at me.
"Oh, very well," I said. I lunged at her, grabbing her hand and pulling her toward me. She gasped and fought, but it was too late; I had her by the shoulders and stared into her eyes. She squinted, as if trying to catch sight of something in the distance, then slowly her eyes grew wider and wider and her lips trembled. She pushed away from me hard and covered a hand with her mouth.
"That did it," I said, brushing wrinkles from my doublet. "Never fails, though I wonder what you lot see. Never do tell me, do you?"
"How can it be?" she whispered. "Both man and country?"
"Again with the flare," I said, shrugging. "I just am, your majesty. I am England, nothing more, nothing less."