THE HARDEST: OVERBOARD - LÈSE-MAJESTÉ

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: dreamscape

16th century on a river cruise duchess Aline of noble blood is sexually assaulted, preservation of royal dignity requires the ultimate price.

Era nestled in the 16th century. At a small island in the river a number of people walk aboard. Elites among the party a petite, pretty dog and among that The Duchess, fan in hand and accentuated by a fancy corset gown dress, suitable for one of her rank. They are greeted by the captain who says his responsibility to ferry them safely. He warmly told no need to reiterate duty.

 

It expected to be something of dull view travelling the river, long the practice to have some fun distraction. The atmosphere cordial.

 

The ship by wind sail fluttering, eases away from the pier. The band of elites well-dressed get to work chatting and card playing. Light food and wine order of the day.

 

Game of Baccarat. More and more rounds. The Duchess’ jewelry a center of discourse. A bet is made on them, which she doesn’t win – the match was given to her. She answers she not so much of a woman she cannot stomach defeat, a player brings up what would have happened were they really on the line, a mock bet after all. Something from behind her eye made visible. ‘Would adorn another fine woman. Are we little in your eyes? Royalty are if anything true to their word.’ she says sincerely.

 

The duchess expresses wish to retire to her quarters, she is reminded to be on time for the lyre playing. ‘If only enough for a whole concert,’ someone remarks convivially. The captain gracious escort. He as they walk the vessel gives stern looks to crew hands. She is deposited and with a bow he takes his leave, gently reminded to grace them with her presence that evening for lyre. ‘Noblesse.’

 

The tranquil waterway leaves as ever a wake, reminder of the vessel’s passage. The ball of light hanging in the sky begins to sink, the clouds take a different color reflecting the hour.

The duchess wakes from her nap, sitting on her bed. ‘I slept longer than I would have. The ship’s movement so accommodating.’ She could feel the ship’s gentle progress. A dab of perfume for good measure, before stepping out.

 

She finds her way on deck alone, hands on the gunwale or top edge of its hull, the island out of sight of course. Wished to have fresh air before the smoke again. A lyre’s sweetness for the ears cannot make up for what bad for the lungs, she thinks. Her dress and hair blow in the wind.

 

Feels she can do this an éternité. Later dips fingers into the pristine aqua, then in a while, captivated by the water passing through, the whole manicured hand into the water and keeps it there. Creating a minuscule wake of its own. People are alive to call this dull?

 

‘Agréable soirée.’ Pleasant evening in French – spoken from somewhere behind, her body turns, nothing. Then her head does. Was from the side. A sailor approached undetected as she was raptly in the moment.

 

Her face is perturbed. He looked naturally somewhat disheveled and sweaty. In light of her upbringing kept an air of calm respect, not haughtiness. Her expression returns to normal. ‘My compatriots in want of me good sir?’

 

Duchess Aline Inés, 45, long hair tied up above the neck up in a bob, fan in hand, in a dress. Don’t say her somewhat youthful face can’t rival Mademoiselles half her age. Tall and shapely from the conservative amount of skin shown, no blemish. The corset gown cannot quite conceal the swell of her chest.

 

A known fact many men would take an older woman over recently bloomed ones.

 

‘Oh you’ll join your friends when you’re ready.’ Clearly he wanted to move the conversation. ‘A royal blood is actually right here.’ He marvels. Her perfume reached his nose.

 

Who’d have sent him? She ponders.

 

They continue a conversation where he increasingly has unsettling language and finally grabs, accosting her by the hand and places it on his pants – where his member is. Her mouth is agape instantly. ‘May I loan you this?’

 

She tries to struggle free and does only to trip on that long dress in a run, last moment extending her arms, slamming hands hard on the wooden deck, breaking a fall. Next is pulled up by the hair, his hand grabbing it, to stand by the sailor behind her. Pristine face twisted in pain momentarily.

 

‘Unhand me singe!’ or ape. As he begins applying his hands to feel her up, with effort a hand even reaching under the thick lower dress to caress supple thighs. She tries struggling. And soon it over.

 

Her noble class is Noblesse uterine, nobility of the female line.

 

‘Sacre bleu, sacre bleu, sacre bleu!’ Slight on his honor. The evening yet to pass when the complaint reaches the captain and still so by the time what transpired between him hearing and preparations.

 

On deck most everybody attend, normally elites and lower class, called roturiers in general like the crew do not interact on equal footing but circumstances drew together, standing near each other.

 

Someone had mistaken a noble for a strumpet aboard ship.

 

By then the capitaine made a lifetime worth of apologies to her. The duchess is among those standing, beautiful face twisted in a frown. Her offender kneels before her a few feet away, a royal. Head lowered, body sore, face bruised.

 

A man in sight with a thick cane. Funny how a beating works. He’d been asked if he were mad. Presented as a straightforward question.

 

Capitaine, ‘You are well taught in what to do.’

The man says he brought shame to his ship…‘Raise your head when you address milady,’ the captain firmly but calmly.

 

He obeys. Has to, and sees that fiery countenance. But not continuing a non-choice…and to his crew and to her noble house and that no punishment is compensation and to herself, ‘I am sorry.’

 

No more words are needed.

 

Two crew take him by each arm and he thrown overboard into the river with a splash. Ultimate retribution for the sin. The sin Lèse-majesté - "to do wrong to majesty." 

 

‘Que le diable te prenne!’ May the devil take you! Capitaine declares. Fiend expected to drown, maybe not. Not one or two but four lances find their way over. 

 

Author’s note – society has its divide, honor demands violence here sexual assault aside. Befouling a noble was the end of many. Nowadays she what young men in the States dub MILF. Quiz - what her names translate too?

The title’s second half I’d come across several months now, depositing in notes for a medieval series, thinking of the story lead me back.

Date - 5 April 2020


Submitted: April 05, 2020

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Comments

hullabaloo22

This clearly illustrates a class divide in what is acceptable and what is not. This is something that is said to no longer exist, but I'm not sure. Well done.

Sun, April 5th, 2020 5:41pm

Author
Reply

As always salivate for your reviews, Hula. Some years ago a billionaire's family member was kidnapped, heard relatives took care of things.
Oh and two other stories are out and more in coming days.

Sun, April 5th, 2020 10:45am

Jean Lagace

Well written story. I find it adresses not so much to a class divide than to decency, good form and respectable behaviour. Ce marin est un agresseur grossier et malotru qui mérite d'être jeté par dessus bord. lol

Sun, April 5th, 2020 6:11pm

Author
Reply

Thanks monsieur! How intriguing I have a French speaker review a French libellé story.
Checked your site profile before you even commented on my story, when I read one of yours. Canadians I know are bilingual.

Sun, April 5th, 2020 11:41am

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