Hello everyone! I haven't written a fanfic in awhile, but I just recently had an idea after reading a part from one of my previous stories. As you know I don't own these characters but I've had fun tweaking the story behind Clarisse and Joseph. To give you a heads up, in the first two chapters you will see Clarisse and Joe flashbacks that occurred before she wed Rupert and assumed her royal responsibilities. After Chapter 2 it will fast forward a bit to the early years of Rupert and Clarisse's marriage.
I hope you enjoy it! I apologize if this one seems long, but I would love to hear what you think of Chapter 1.
It was a beautiful spring day in 1960 when Joseph, a young chauffeur and security guard took a ride on his motorcycle up to the emerald hills of Genovia. Today's ride was different than any other because today he had company. As he parked his bike and got off he turned to offer his hand to the young lady who had been holding on to him tightly the whole way.
"I have it, thank you," the seventeen year old said as she hopped off the bike and fixed her flowing pink Dior skirt.
"So, how did you like your first motorcycle ride Lady Clarisse?" Joseph asked.
"Joseph?" She said annoyed with her hands on her hips.
He smiled and nodded knowing what agitated her. Though a staff member of her father's household he was happy to be considered a friend and knew that she hated when he used a formal title of sorts. "Fine how did you like your first motorcycle ride Clarisse?"
"Very well thank you. Why did you offer to take me for a ride anyway? You know how my mother feels about this mode of transportation."
"I offered because you looked like you needed some time away from the estate and I was going to take a drive on my break anyway. Besides you've been asking me for one for ages."
"True. Well this is just lovely," she said looking at the view they had from the top of the mountain. "Look you can practically see the estate grounds Joseph, and there's my university, and the church, and is that the…"
Joe watched as Clarisse looked out at the landscape in front of her trying to pick out places that she recognized. He couldn't help but smile at how surprised and cute she looked in her skirt and white blouse. Her blonde hair was pulled back in a ponytail and a pink scarf was tied in her hair to keep it secure. Around her neck she wore her favorite heart shaped locket that her grandmother gave her and her earlobes were decorated with pink sapphires.
"Ah yes?" Joe said startled.
"Are you alright?"
Clearing his throat, "Uh yes why?"
"Because you didn't answer my question. What were you thinking about just now?"
"Nothing, nothing. I'm sorry your question was?"
"Is that the palace over there?"
Joe moved closer to her and followed where she was pointing.
"Why yes it is why?"
"No I was just wondering that's all. It looks different from a distance."
"Speaking of the palace I wonder how His Majesty King Edward is doing. Have you heard anything?" Joe inquired knowing Clarisse's position as a future princess of Genovia.
"He is ill but his health goes up and down from what I hear. He has good and bad days. Father being so close to the King says the palace keeps it very hush hush so to not worry the public."
"Oh sure, sure," Joseph replied as he noticed Clarisse looking behind her.
"Oh look Joseph, a little rabbit!" she said. Trained to keep an eye on her always, he watched her walk towards the small creature. Swaying her hips to and fro she looked radiant. She even looked graceful when her heel got caught in the dirt and she yanked it out almost falling.
"Lady Clarisse be careful please!" Joseph warned. He should have known that knowing her love for animals that she would attempt to befriend it.
"Oh Joseph it's only a little bunny." She said waving her hand as if it were no big deal.
"Yes but make sure you don't fall." Being around her all the time he had noticed what a clumsy teenager she could be when not attempting to be so lady-like.
Clarisse continued to follow the small rabbit until she realized she was under a large weeping willow.
"Clarisse?" Joseph said parting the branches to make sure she was around.
Clarisse spun around with a smile enjoying the interior curtains of the tree.
"Isn't it gorgeous Joseph?" she said turning back around and bending down to pick a small white flower.
"Yes it is," he said walking up behind her. He wasn't referring to the tree however.
Not knowing how close he was she spun around and bumped into him. She was right in Joe's face.
"Oh I'm sorry. I, I think…I think the bunny ran off…" she said in a breathy whisper as she looked at him.
Joe looked into her eyes. Those beautiful blue crystals sparkled even in a shaded space. Overcome by the closeness of their situation, Joe grabbed her shoulders and kissed her fast and passionately.
Clarisse's eyes opened widely as she received her very first kiss. By an internal impulse, she threw her arms around Joseph's neck and continued kissing him.
Joe gently lowered her down on the grass without breaking the kiss. Clarisse grabbed his hand and placed it on her waist. Emotional sensations took over and Clarisse felt as though she was a princess in a fairytale or like that actress she had just seen in a film.
After a few moments of serene pleasure Joseph realized that he was kissing the Duke of Renoir's only daughter who was technically betrothed to the Crown Prince of Genovia. Joe instantly parted from her lips and rose to his feet.
"What's wrong? Did I do something?" Clarisse asked embarrassed as she sat up.
"No Lady Clarisse I'm sorry."
"No Clarisse I… I shouldn't have kissed you I mean you're my employer's daughter."
"I truly didn't mind, and I don't believe I was the one who pulled away" she said rising to her feet and brushing the grass from her skirt.
"Well I shouldn't have forced myself on you like that."
"No, no please there is no need to apologize. I have actually wanted to be kissed like that for a long time and to be honest I rather thought you may be the first person to do it," she said it in a seductive yet innocent way.
Joseph just stood there for a few awkward seconds not knowing what to do. Smirking he pulled back the branches so she could exit the serene canopy of the weeping willow before him.
"Lady Clarisse…I …I…I think we should be getting back before your parents notice you're gone."
"Perhaps you're right."
Clarisse began walking past Joe who for some reason didn't make eye contact with her. Before walking through the branches Clarisse stopped in front of Joe and gently kissed him on the cheek. "Don't worry no one will find out. It'll be our little secret."
Her comment both scared and excited him.
Three months later…..
"Clarisse?" a woman called from the balcony of the villa. "Clarisse darling where are you?"
Hearing her mother the young woman turned around gracefully, a book in her right hand and apple in her left.
"Here mother," she shouted up as she came around the corner of a shrub.
"Oh there you are darling…ah…your father is looking for you."
"Is everything all right?" she asked noticing her mother's timid behavior.
The Duchess of Renoir cautiously looked behind her as her hands remained on the balcony railing.
Clarisse walked closer to the house and got on her tippy toes to see what her mother was checking on behind her.
Leaning over the railing her mother whispered down. "There's a gentleman here from the palace."
Clarisse's heart stopped and her stomach twisted.
"And?" she asked as she nervously brushed her bangs to the side.
"Well dear I'm not sure. The maids just came rushing into the room telling me your father has demanded I find you and bring you to his office."
"Is that where they are? In father's office?" she asked.
"Yes, now get in here, right away," her mother sternly advised.
Clarisse closed her book violently and rushed around to the patio doors. As she wrapped around the corner of the large shrub she ran into Joseph. Bumping into to his chest caused her to fall to the ground.
"Clarisse! Oh my…I'm so sorry I didn't see you. Your father the Duke is looking for you inside." he said as he helped her up off the ground.
"I know, I know, I'm fine, I must hasten," she said quickly as she brushed off her skirt and looked around for somewhere to toss her apple. "Ah here," she said practically throwing her book at him and placing her half eaten apple in his hand before running away.
Joseph watched with a slight smile as she attempted to run in the most lady-like way possible. He knew that she was on her way to see the man who entered the Gerard villa a few minutes before. Seeing her run reminded him of her chasing the rabbit and then first kiss they had shared under the willow tree a few months earlier.
With her inside with her father he had a few moments to himself since the Duke's assistant/body guard would be outside the office door. As he patrolled the gardens he thought of Clarisse. Her beauty, kindness, and intelligence. That laugh and smile, those eyes, her trained maturity mixed with her girlish spirit. How she lit up when talking about riding horses, reading literature, or traveling. He also found it amusing and yet very sexy whenever she would speak French to her parents being that it was their second language.
After finding himself thinking about her in this way, he stopped. He had to be careful not to get too attached to her. After all she would be out of his life one day and he would only be a memory. Perhaps now though he could take in as much time with her as possible without jeopardizing her future.
The next day an entourage of courtiers from the palace appeared at the gate of the Gerard villa on official business from Queen Margaret and her son Rupert the Crown Prince of Genovia.
Once they left mid-evening, Clarisse breathed a sigh a relief that she had some time to herself. Walking out onto her own personal balcony, she leaned over the railing, her cheek resting upon her hand thinking how different her life will be in the future once everything took effect.
A handsome young man in black, who seemed to have come out of the bushes below, pleasantly interrupted her thoughts.
She smiled down at him as he approached.
Joseph looked up and teasingly cleared his throat. With a cheeky smile he began, "See how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek."
She smiled and shook her head at him since he was able to ironically quote what she had been reading in her recent book. To see how much he actually knew she tested him.
"O' Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?"
"Right here," he said playfully bowing.
"Oh really?" she asked with a smirk as she crossed her arms in front of her and leaned over the railing.
"Ahhh?" he thought for a second of another quote. "Oh right it's, Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne'er… saw true beauty… till this night."
She playfully grimaced at the young man who seemed always to be on her mind.
"Well Romeo good try but it's not actually night," she said with a laugh.
He looked around him and up to the sky. "No I suppose it's not but check your book because I know its right," he said pointing up at her.
She shook her head and laughed as she stood up straight and leaned back while holding onto the railing.
"Well at least give me some credit, I tried." he said playfully shrugging his shoulders.
"Well Romeo could you help me try to escape this craziness?"
"Tempt not a desperate man my lady." He said waving a finger at her.
"Please? I would love to go on another motorcycle ride with you," she begged. "It would do wonders for me," she said with a pouty look.
"Lady Clarisse your parents will fire me, hell they'll kill me if they catch me taking you out again."
"They had no idea about last time. We didn't get caught."
He stared at her and her beauty mesmerized him. How could he resist.
He sighed. He thoroughly enjoyed the long moments they stole talking and flirting. "Fine, tomorrow then. Is noon alright for you?" he asked her.
She thought for a second. "Um yes I do believe my schedule is actually clear for tomorrow. I don't have any lessons with mother or with Madame La'Rue. How should we do this?" she whispered.
"Meet me in the vineyard. I'll have my bike there waiting." He whispered back.
"Wonderful! I can't wait!" she quietly exclaimed so no one would hear.
Inside the villa Joseph heard Clarisse's father call her name.
"I better go," she whispered as she took a few steps back.
"Wait, wait!" he called after her.
"Whaaat?" she replied back with an annoyed but playful tone.
"Parting is so sweet sorrow," he said with a laugh.
She rolled her eyes and sighed with a smile as she brushed him off.