Desideria

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Love story set in the Napoleonic era...

Submitted: December 25, 2010

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Submitted: December 25, 2010

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On 16 July 1791, a very concerned Duke Charles de la Castille, flanked by Generals Vallieres and Maurois, was seen marching down the long corridor at the Versailles palace. Dressed in full uniform, hats underneath their arms with dangling swords at their side, they were hastily approaching Louis XVI’s chambers. Upon entering the most exclusive room, they were stopped by Queen Marie Antoinette. Angered by their sudden appearance, she demanded an explanation to their intrusion. “We have an important news that is vital to the survival of our sovereign king. If this critical issue is not addressed, I’m afraid that the throne could be in jeopardy,” exclaimed the most concerned Duke. At this precise moment, the king, wearing only a bath robe came to the door. They were obliged to wait for him in his office, which is situated on the east side of the castle. Assuring them that he would be ready in about 15 minutes, they impatiently waited for the king. They grew more concerned, as 45 minutes had passed, and there was no sign of Louis XVI. Suddenly, without them noticing him, the king appeared in a most exquisite silky attire. “What is it?” asked the king. “Your Majesty, we have a terrible news that could affect the central core of the monarchy. Yesterday afternoon, in a moment of panic, General Lafayette’s regiment fired on a peaceful protest at the Champ de Mars square. More than 50 citizens were killed, and we’re afraid that this could cause retaliation. The massacre will not be viewed favorably by the newly-formed government.” “Dear Charles, your preoccupations are indeed noted, but the killing of a few peasants will not undermine the throne. I’m aware that the revolution of 1789 has weakened my position, but I’m still their king, and total allegiance must be observed. You were appointed to crush any insurrection or act of disobedience, so exercise that right,” retorted the king. “You are quite right, sire, but we have a fine line between what I can do for the king, and my directives from the newly- formed revolutionary government. We have dealt with more than a hundred skirmishes in the past month alone. People are demanding reform and, in doing so, are becoming more verbal and aggressive. My military contingency is very limited in troops for those ever-demanding challenges. I will need more men, if I am to maintain civility,” explained the duke. “Charles, a few rebels here and there should not be a threat for our soldiers. The revolution is now over, so just demand new police protection from this newly- appointed public prosecutor of Paris. What is his name again? “Maximilien Robespierre, Your Majesty.” “That’s it. I sense a lot of stress in you, so maybe it’s time for you to have a break and meet a new challenge. I’m promoting you to the rank of field marshal, in command of the 7th army. Our eastern fronts are in need of an experienced officer to lead them. You will commence your duty after your most-deserved and well-rested six-week vacation. Generals Vallieres and Maurois will assume the protection of Paris from those few isolated renegades. I suggest, Duke, that you spend your vacation at Montalivet, a lovely waterfront overlooking the ocean. “I know the place quite well, sire. My parents own an estate in the area, and the view is indeed quite captivating. But seriously, Your Majesty, I have no need for a vacation at this time.” “This is not a request, Charles, but an order,” insisted the king. “I will oblige myself to your request, Your Majesty,” said the duke, seeing no way to persuade the king otherwise. “Now, I have a most personal matter to discuss with you, so could you gentlemen please leave the room?” the king said to the two generals. “Yes, sire,” both generals said, and then they exited the den, leaving behind Charles and the sovereign monarch. “What is it, Your Majesty?” asked the duke. “Charles, you are my most trusted and loyal officer. I have known you and your family for many years, but I have a concern. The Count of Soulange had brought to my attention the fact that you are secretly meeting his daughter, Desideria. Is that true?” “I do occasionally meet her during the afternoon, your Highness.” “How old are you?” asked the king. “I’m 48 years old, Your Majesty.” Well, Count Soulange has verbally objected to you seeing his 23-year-old daughter. She is to marry an Austrian prince later this fall. The count is also a large contributor to the monarchy. Without his financial resources and political influence, I would not be able to maintain power. Until I can instigate a decree and raise taxes, I must rely on him,” explained the king. “Your Majesty, please hold back on raising taxes. The people of France will not accept any additional demands on their lifestyle “The people will accept whatever I say, regardless of the revolution. I am still their king.” “Sire, the people have limited your powers of governance and are now exercising a control over the monarchy. Any attempt to tamper with their freedom through the imposition of new taxes or additional powers from your part would be viewed as an act of treason. There is even a rumor circulating that the electoral body would like to instigate France as a republic,” said Charles in a most serious tone. “A republic? Which fool brought up such nonsense?” replied the king. “Robespierre, Your Majesty, and he is not a friend of the monarchy,” replied the duke. “May I also bring another point that could threaten your position as sovereign ruler?” “Spill it out, Charles,” said the king. “Lately your wife, Queen Marie Antoinette, has engaged herself in frivolous spending that is the talk of the town. She has been spending the state’s coffers at an alarming rate. As your friend and confidant, I wanted to make you aware of the situation.” The queen was overhearing the conversation via a slightly open door, and at this point she burst into the room in fury and expelled the young Duke. Angered by his words, she threatened to have him arrested and tried for insubordination. The king immediately comforted the queen by suggesting that the duke was only doing his duty by reporting any threatening situations. Excusing herself from his presence, she told the king that she felt tired and needed to take a nap. What he didn’t know was that she headed straight out to confront the duke in the corridor of the hall. Upon seeing him, she requested that he stop at once, and he did without hesitation. Still furious about his comments, Queen Marie Antoinette didn’t hesitate to harshly criticize his disposition. She bluntly told him that he hasn’t seen the last of her and that he should watch his every move. Charles was a bit surprised by the reaction, excused himself, and was led out by two palace guards. Outside his two friends were waiting for him on a marble bench near the elaborate floral gardens. “What happened to you?” exclaimed his friend Luc in a most humorous tone. “I sort of got expelled by the Queen,” explained Charles. “What did you do to her in order to get thrown out that way?” asked Mark, his other companion. “I didn’t say anything too controversial or demeaning. I only brought to the attention of the king the embarrassing and frivolous spending of the queen.” “That explains it,” retorted Luc. “This is a taboo subject with the queen, and the fact that you brought it up could spell trouble. If I were you, I would watch my back and exercise due diligence. “Thanks for the warning, but right now I’m sort of forced by the king to take a six-week vacation. “Where are you going?” asked Mark anxiously. “I’m going to the ocean resort of Montalivet, but first I’ll go back to Paris, pack my bags, and write a letter to Desideria.” “Desideria? Are you mad?” stated Luc. “That girl is trouble and you know it. If you’re caught by her father, that’s the end of your nice and brilliant military career. He’s quite influential, so I’m sure that he wouldn’t hesitate one moment to throw you in the dungeons.” “Charles, what do you see in that girl anyway?” asked Mark. “She is much too young and immature for you.” “She is lovely, innocent, and pure. I love her touch, her scent, and her desire to live. I know she loves me and I love her, and one day we will be together.” “Now I know for sure that you’ve gone mad, especially if you go against the wishes of the king,” said Luc. “Actually, he didn’t totally spell out his wishes, as we were interrupted by the queen.” “Read between the lines,” cautioned Mark. “If you dare entertain a liaison with the young countess against the wishes of the king, you will end up in the Bastille prison.” “Sorry, guys, but I’m madly in love with that woman. I may be crazy, but I can’t live without her. I need her affection, and that is why I’m going to invite her to spend the six weeks with me,” murmured Charles. “In your case, love is foolish and suicidal,” said Mark. After a few hours traveling toward the capital, the three friends parted ways to their respective locations. Generals Mark Vallieres and Luc Maurois headed back to their regiments, and Charles headed back to his parents home. He ravishingly enjoyed living in the district of Les Champs Elysees in Paris because the view is magnificent and breathtaking. Charles' father, who was a close cousin of King Louis XVI, was patiently awaiting his presence while sipping a cup of tea on the backyard porch. The house, built in the Renaissance era, and had been passed from generation to generation was richly decorated. The domain was highlighted with impressive granite columns, and the landscaping was covered with floral arrangements. The interior was extravagant in taste with marble floors, and every room was lavishly decorated. But despite such wealth, the family was still modest in attitude and in principles. Charles saw his father sitting near the rose garden, picked up a cup of tea from the serving tray, and sat beside him. “How was your day, son?” his father asked. “I suppose it was okay.” “You don’t seem to be too sure. What is the problem?” “I was promoted to field marshal and was given command of the 7th army, on the eastern front. The king also ordered me to take a six-week vacation at Montalivet.” “That is wonderful news! So what seems to concern you, Charles?” “I was asked to stay clear of Desideria.” “What do you see in that girl anyway?” replied his father, who seemed a bit confused by Charles’ determination. “She is immature, lacks decorum, and is much too skinny.” “Father, she is beautiful, intelligent, full of innocence, and wild.” “Wild she is, and one day that girl will bring you down, mark my word. Look, Charles, you’re forty-eight years old, and I won’t tell you how to live your life, but just be careful. I wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to you.” “I know father, but what can I say, I’m a man in love.” “More like a fool in love—blind and out of control, if you want my opinion.” “Thank you, Father, for your wise advice,” retorted Charles in an amused tone. Retiring to his room, Charles diligently took time to prepare his luggage and set aside a few maps for the journey. Drawing the itinerary of his trip on a few strip of papers, he hastily pushed it aside, unable to resist writing a letter to his beloved. Dear Desideria, Today the King had ordered me to take a vacation to Montalivet. We have an estate near that area, and I will be leaving in the next few hours. But I couldn’t bear the thought of going without you. So I beg of you—no, I implore you—to come with me and meet me in Marseilles, where I will be awaiting you with my carriage, at the Hall Gallery in Marseilles at 9:00 AM. There we can undertake the rest of the journey together, as a loving couple. I couldn’t live without your touch and loving passion, as you totally enslave me. I am at your mercy. I am your servant and partner in love. Charles Within the letter, Charles made sure to include an invitation to a royal ball that would be hosted in the region in the upcoming weeks. With determination he instructed Desideria to use it as a ploy to convince her father to allow her to go for the occasion. The letter would be delivered by his most trusted servant. *** Upon delivery of the letter, Desideria didn’t hesitate one moment to pack her things and set her plan in motion. Her dresses and personal items were carefully packed, and she gave instructions to the maid, who was to keep mute about the entire matter and serve notice to her father of the upcoming royal ball upon his arrival. Because her father was travelling all over Europe for business reason, the notice wouldn’t be served for a couple more weeks. After a few hours of sleep, in the early morning she set off for Marseilles. She was excited at the chance to finally spend actual time with Charles, instead of those quick, secret, afternoon hiding locations. She would finally be able to feel complete and totally happy. When she arrived at the gallery in Marseilles, her heart pumped faster at the view of seeing Charles. She was in complete ecstasy, and she hugged him and gently kissed him. It was hours before they reached their destination, and their passion was already starting to flare up. Their countless hours of kissing within the coach were constantly fuelling their bodies in ecstasy. At sundown the lovely estate was finally in sight, and a cozy and charming resort could be seen. The scene was quite enticing with a view of the sea and beautiful floral arrangements. After securing all of their affairs, the servants were given instructions to pick them back up in about six weeks. Alone by themselves, near the fireplace, Charles gently caressed her cheek. She felt content, aroused, and filled with emotions. She felt like a princess in need of a caressing touch. He then brushed her silky golden hair with his sliding fingers, and within a moment of passion, their lips were in perfect harmony. Caught in a kiss and at the mercy of each other, they hastily disrobed within their sleeping chamber. Charles’ desires grew stronger at the sight of seeing such incredible beauty. Desideria was more beautiful than he had ever imagined, with her well-place contours and white, silky skin. His hands moved gently as he felt every inch of her body, from her bust down to her thighs. In her lust, Desideria felt like a true woman, only wanting to please her man. For hours, in heated motion, they lost themselves to a passion of eroticism and soul-searching desires. *** For weeks, Desideria felt content in her situation, enjoying the pleasurable scenery of the ocean and the calm sounds of the region. She even went skinny dipping on a few occasions, but her heart started feeling sad. She knew that such a paradise couldn’t last, and soon she would have to face reality once again. She wanted more from life than obligations or duties dictated by her father. Her father, although a most successful and respected businessman, was more interested in his financial quests than the welfare of his daughter. She needed Charles, and in her heart that was all that mattered. She felt completed by his love and wanted to marry him, to throw away their life of secrecy. Never had any man given her so much love and compassion, and a reason for living. He understood her needs, desires, and emotional well-being. In her mind it was clear: upon going back she would confront her father and forego the marriage with the prince. Her soul felt emancipated with new thoughts and transform by a new beginning, as she scribbled a few words on a piece of paper. In her meditation she was lost until she felt the sudden hand of Charles touching her shoulder. He was there, with gleaming eyes admiring her compulsion. “What are you doing, Desideria?” he asked. “Just scribbling a few words,” she replied. “You have a journal, my dear Countess.” “Ever since I met you, my darling Duke.” “I hope that I don’t come across poorly. Could I see your journal?” “Sorry, it’s exclusive, but rest assured that I could never write anything bad about you.” “That’s good, because here comes a negative point.” And grabbing her from the bench, situated near the water bank, he tossed her into the water. In the cold and calm water of the ocean, she screamed and yelled that it was unfair. Then Charles stripped off his clothes and jumped right in, to the rescue. She pushed him away until he started to passionately kiss her. In an instant her sheer sleeping garment was removed, and her body tensed at his desiring, caressing touch. Reaching the point of ecstasy, he carried her out from the frigid waters and laid her naked body near a floral bush of roses. He then covered her entire body with petals of roses, as he slowly started to massage her entire body. She was at his mercy as he gently massaged her shoulders, legs, and the rest of her body. She shivered at the touch but was content by his attention. Afterward she hugged him and started to feed him strawberries and watermelon. She even rubbed dripping watermelon on his legs, chest, and back. After a few hours of the ritual, it was time to get back into the house, as nightfall was now setting in. They both felt terribly sad because the next day it would be time to head back home. They had captured so many dreams that the mere illusion of once again resorting to secrecy was weighing terribly on both of them. The next day Desideria confessed to Charles her desire to confront her father. She wanted to be married to Charles and nothing or no one would stop her. While traveling, they exchanged mutual reflections and desires for their upcoming life together. He would announce his intention to his parents and set the preparations in motion, while she would talk and negotiate with her father. When they arrived at Desideria’s residence, they noticed that it was filled with a horde of governmental soldiers. “Your father must be receiving quite an important guest in order to have so many troops,” said Charles. Upon reaching the gates of the domain, they were swarmed by soldiers of the 5th battalion. They were asked to step out of the carriage and to follow the troops inside. Charles tried to point out that he was the king’s special envoy and a field marshal of the eastern army, but the soldiers wouldn’t budge in their duties. Inside the residence a most furious father started to scold his daughter. He was full of anger and severely reprimanded her for such irresponsible behavior. He was told the whole story by the maid upon his arrival a few days ago, and he felt betrayed. Desideria furiously decried such treason from one of her chambermaid. In her pulsing panic, she pointed out to her father that she wanted to be married to Charles and no one else. But in his stubbornness, her father was incorrigible, asking his special guest to appear. It was Queen Marie Antoinette, who had deliberately been called by the Count of Soulange. Charles drew a blank look, knowing how much ill-will was directed toward him. At the same instant the queen ordered the arrest of the Duke of Castilles on charge of treason and defying the king. Within that instant Charles drew his sword, preparing himself for battle, but Desideria implored him not to spill any blood. He acquiesced and threw his sword at the feet of the queen. In tears, Desideria implored the queen to let him go, as she loved him, but Marie Antoinette wouldn’t budge. Charles was put into chains and hastily carried to La Bastille prison to await his fate. Within the prison’s dungeon, he was slowly beaten, whipped, and humiliated. By being incarcerated by decree of the queen, one of France’s most notable generals was left to the mercy of his torturers. For many long months he suffered hopelessly, having for only thought the tender memory of Desideria. He tried to contact the king, but his letters were returned unopened with the seal of the queen. He then realized that she had plotted against him in order to please her personal vendetta. Meanwhile, Desideria was condemned to be secluded within the religious order of the Sisters of Mercy. In the convent she prayed long hours, hoping to once again be reunited with her lover. For months she pleaded for his release, but she was periodically denied access to the king by Marie Antoinette. She even approached the new public prosecutor, Maximilien Robespierre, but failed in her attempts. Months had passed since her last encounter with Charles, and the life in Paris was slowly deteriorating. There were small skirmishes leading up to outright revolt concerning the appointment of Robespierre as first deputy of Paris. His powers growing, Robespierre completely seized the legislature and asked for France to become a republic. Upon the newly passed act of the government declaring France a republic in 1792, the king was moved from Versailles to Paris. The royal couple felt threatened and was held captive by their situation. Marie Antoinette immediately requested the release of Charles de Castilles because she needed an ally, and the former commander proved to be the only asset left at her disposal. General Mark Vallieres was placed in charge of carrying out the order. Within the prison, General Vallieres was escorted to cell twelve, where Charles was being held. As the door opened, Mark noticed a most pale, undernourished, and frail man. Upon his release, Charles was brought to his family estate, where he was nurtured back to health for at least two months. After his recovery Charles summoned his most trusted friend, who arrived with most terrible news. “What is it?” asked Charles. “The king and his entire entourage have been arrested and have been indicted on charges of treason against the republic. Everywhere the insurrection is mounting, and the people are blaming the king for the Austrian/Prussian alliance to crush the newly formed republic. Their armies have already entered France and captured the fortress of Longuy and Verdun,” replied the young general. “Where is General Maurois?” said Charles. “He was murdered by his own men, during an excursion attack on the advancing enemy.” Charles felt saddened by such discouraging news but insisted on knowing the whereabouts of Desideria. “She is being kept in a religious order situated in Louvre,” answered Mark. “I’ll get her out and at the same time bring a newly- formed regiment from the north. I believe this to be the only place where the king still has some major support. By the way, where is that newly- appointed commander of the army of Italy?” asked Charles “You mean Napoleon Bonaparte?” “Yes, that’s the name I was looking for.” “He is marching back with his army of 100,00 soldiers, but he’s not scheduled to arrive back for a couple of weeks.” From that answer Charles knew Napoleon wasn’t a fervent defender of the monarchy, so time was extremely crucial. First, Charles would attend to the safety of his most beloved and then attempt to organize a regiment. Saddling his horse, he headed for the Louvre, flanked by his most trusted friend and a few loyal soldiers. At nightfall, he entered the convent and headed straight to where Desideria was secluded. They group met no resistance, and she rushed to Charles’ arms, hugging and kissing him and swearing never to let him go. However the happy scene was short lived—the Grenadier guard had been alerted by the nuns. Charles’ small group was easily disarmed and brought back to Paris for judgment. On January 21, 1793, King Louis XVI was executed at La Place De La Concorde. In the reign of terror that followed his execution, 1,285 royalists, from counts to duchesses, suffered a similar faith. Duke Charles de la Castilles and Countess Desideria Soulange where guillotined on March 2, 1793. In love they left and gave the ultimate sacrifice.


© Copyright 2018 Francis De Chamberlain. All rights reserved.

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