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Elle ne m'aime pas

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Philippe was alone in his rooms, his breath the only sound breaking the silence around him. He could feel the day that had passed in his sore muscles and aching bones. Lightly groaning, he raised his hands to knead the muscles of his neck, trying to relieve some of the tension that constantly plagued him. 


Sleep never came easily to him, the never-ending train of thoughts circulating in his restless mind made sure of that. As long as he was alone, he never knew peace. He would always think of those eyes around him that followed him wherever he went, impenetrable eyes that could as well hide love as they could a desire for his death. There was no one to trust, no one with whom he could be honest, no one with whom he could rest. 


He had hoped that by marrying Élisabeth that would have changed, but it had not. He had nothing to reproach her;  she was a dutiful wife and queen, and he knew her to be honest and kind, but Philippe could never bring himself to completely trust her. From time to time, he saw the way she would glance at Carlos with a melancholic look in her eyes, and he would become only too aware of his greying hair and aging bones. What an unnatural thing, to be jealous of one’s own son. 


Carlos, with his wild temperament, was still a child. Philippe tried not to linger on thoughts of his son, whose desperate pleas for attention only made him more aware of his own shortcomings… As much as he tried, he could not feel any love for that child who reminded him only too much of himself. 


Still, even now, every time he held Élisabeth in his arms, he wondered if she thought of Carlos, if she wished that he was the one holding her instead of Philippe. To be sure, she never refused him, and he knew that she respected him, but she did not love him. He could feel it in the way she never answered his touch with anything more than what he asked for, and he never asked for much. This should not have bothered him; after all, Philippe did not love her. How could he love, having never been loved himself?


He did not love her, but he wanted her. He wanted the softness of her next to him as he fell asleep, he wanted the taste of her silky skin on his lips, he wanted to see some fire, something resembling love in her eyes as she looked at him. That was impossible he knew, there would never be any love for him in her gaze, but tonight he would settle for anything other than her indifference. He wanted her to do more than tolerate him tonight. 


Rising from his desk, Philippe slipped on his dressing gown before walking over to the door that led to the Queen’s chambers, his heart filled with a mix of determination and trepidation.  He gently knocked and there was a pause before he heard her hesitant voice, permitting him to enter. 


Nudging the door open, he stopped at the beautiful sight in front of him; Élisabeth was sitting by the fire in her nightgown, taking down her braids. Her golden hair glowed almost red in the firelight and Philippe felt his hands itch with the urge to run his fingers through the wavy locks. 


Élisabeth’s head turned as he entered the room, looking at his attire and lingering on the hungry expression on his face before turning back her gaze to the fire in front of her, speaking in an indifferent voice. “ Sire , what owes me the pleasure of your company this evening?”


Clenching his jaw at her cold welcome, Philippe decided to be blunt, hoping it would startle her into some form of emotion. “I need you, Élisabeth .”


Her fingers stilled in her hair. “ Sire -”


He cut her off, quickly walking across the room to the fireplace, he knelt next to her and taking her hand in his. “ Philippe … I want to be called by my name.”


“Philippe .” The name sounded unnervingly intimate on her tongue as Élisabeth looked into the dark depths of his eyes and saw a new vulnerability. She had never seen him like this before… The king was still mostly a stranger to her, a duty to fulfill, and he had never asked her for more. He had never bared himself to her, his mind seemingly always preoccupied even when he touched her. And he never slept next to her; that intimacy was inaccessible to her.  But now, he was at her knees with a softness in his eyes and he seemed almost a man, almost a husband.


She raised a hand to his cheek and she felt him stiffen for a moment before he closed his eyes and leaned into her touch. She traced the lines on his face with her thumb and she marvelled at the king at her feet, content at the low sigh he gave as she softly ran her nails across his beard. 


He turned his face to kiss her palm and Élisabeth felt her face grow hot at the contact of his lips on her skin. Then, he spoke in a hoarse voice and the feel of his breath on her palm made her shiver. “Let me stay tonight, Élisabeth, let me stay.”


She let her thumb drift to his lips. “Is that an order?”


He shook his head, his face contorting with a pleading that she could hear in his voice. “ Élisabeth .”


Her heart was pounding at the sight of him, undone at her feet, and she nodded, her voice coming out as a breathy whisper. “ Yes. You can stay.”


He let out a sigh of satisfaction and lowered his head to kiss her knees over the light fabric of her nightgown, his hands rubbing her ankles before inching higher, lifting the gown so that he could kiss her bare skin. 


Élisabeth’s breathing became shallower as his lips trailed over the back of her knee, his hands spreading over her thighs with a touch that burned. Soon, her breathing turned to sighs as Philippe’s lips joined his hands, trailing a path higher and higher until she could feel his breath on the inside of her thigh.


Her head felt impossibly light and, looking down at him, she was struck by how good he looked between her legs in the firelight. However, any further coherent thought disappeared and she let out an obscene moan as he moved his hands to clutch at her hips and brought her forward to lay an open mouthed kiss on her core. 


She twisted in her seat but he held her hips firmly with his hands as his lips lapped at her and built a burning pleasure that she could feel everywhere. Sliding her hand in his hair, she didn’t know whether to push him away or keep him there forever. Before she could decide, he slipped his tongue inside of her and she had to bite her lips to prevent herself from screaming. 


She was sure that her grip on his hair had to hurt, but he never stopped, he feasted and sucked on her until something inside of her snapped and she saw stars, shaking through the waves of pleasure as he held fast. 


When the tremors stopped and she opened her eyes, Élisabeth felt incredibly light, sated. She looked down and smiled at the sight of the king, Philippe , with his cheek resting on the inside of her thigh, his lips reddened and covered in her moisture, satisfaction written all over his face. 


Meeting her eyes, he gave her a rare, discreet smile. The night had already proven more pleasurable than what he had expected, but Philippe still wanted more. She was so beautiful, so sweet, and he wanted to lose himself in her for a moment, to feel her come apart around him. 


He wanted her to forget anyone other than him. 


Raising himself up, he trailed kisses over her nightgown from her navel up, stopping for a moment at her breast to take an aching nipple in his mouth, wetting the thin fabric as he ran his tongue over the sensitive peak. He soon replaced his mouth with his hand, gently kneading her breast as he sloppily kissed her neck, delighting in the sounds of pleasure that reached his ears. 


Finally, he reached her lips in an open mouthed kiss and she moaned as she tasted herself on his tongue. He drank in the sound and added his own low groan as she slid her hands in his hair to keep him in place, gently tugging at the short strands of silver and running her nails across his nape. She was pliant in his hands, melting under his tongue, intoxicating him with her scent, and he almost felt as if he were dreaming. 


Not wasting another moment, breaking the kiss, Philippe slid one arm under her knees and the other around her waist to pick her up and carried her to the bed, gently laying her on the mattress. Impatient in his desire, he slipped her nightgown over her head with some urgency before admiring the way her bare skin looked in the firelight. 


She moved to cover herself but he stopped her by taking her wrists, his voice coming out as a raspy, hungry sound. “Don’t, I want to see all of you.” He let go of her wrists, but this time she didn’t move to hide herself, instead baring herself to his starving gaze. His eyes burned her and the more he looked at her, the more her blush spread on her skin. Philippe dipped his head to drop a light kiss on her sternum before rolling her onto her stomach. 


His voice was hoarse as he spoke in between sloppy kisses on her shoulder blades, a pleading note in his tone. “Tell me you are mine.” 


“I am yours.” Élisabeth’s voice came out as a low breathless whisper, her mind going blank as she then felt his lips leaving a burning trail down her spine. 


She could feel the hot dampness of his breath on her lower back and shivered as he spoke again, his hands kneading and moving in broad strokes across her hips in a possessive hold. “Only mine.”


“Only yours, Philippe .” He groaned in pleasure at the sound of his name and rewarded her by slipping his hand between her legs, his fingers gently teasing her slick folds all the while he alternated between kissing, sucking and lightly biting at the sensitive skin at the crook of her neck. 


She was still wet from his earlier ministrations, and from the sounds she was making, she was still delightfully sensitive. Unable to wait anymore, he slowly entered her from behind, letting out a low groan at the feel of her heat enveloping him. Élisabeth gasped at the new sensation, but soon her eyes rolled back at the pleasure it brought. 


She turned her face into her  pillow to muffle her moans as Philippe clawed his fingers into her hips and drove into her with abandon. Soon however, the pleasure began mounting again at his incessant rhythm and nothing could hide the sounds she was making. Then, her orgasm hit her in a flash of blinding pleasure that made her feel as if she would be split in two by the sheer force of it. 


Philippe, who had also been very close to his peak, was brought over the edge by the feeling of her convulsing around him, squeezing him enough to make him see stars. Emptying himself in her heat, he shakily collapsed on her, covering her sweat-coated body with his own, both breathing heavily and both utterly spent. 


After a while, he laid a kiss on her shoulder blade and rolled over, not wanting to crush her. He couldn’t remember the last time he had felt this satisfied, this light. Looking at her next to him, flushed from the pleasure he had given her, her curls splayed out on the pillow, Philippe felt content. Maybe she did not love him, but she would hardly be indifferent now. She was his wife and for the first time since he had married her, he felt like a husband. 


Reaching out his hand to take a strand of her hair, he marvelled at how soft it was, how golden. Lowering his head, he kissed the lock of hair before running it against his cheek, enjoying the feel of it on his skin. 


Élisabeth, wondering what he was doing, turned around on her side to face him, smiling as she saw him drop her hair. Hesitantly, she put her hand on his, gently running her fingers over his knuckles before speaking. “Will you stay?”


His first instinct was to say no; he never stayed to sleep. But now as he looked at her, sleepy, satisfied and glowing in the warm firelight, he wondered how she would look in the morning, how it would feel to wake up next to her, and suddenly he didn’t want to move. “Yes.”


She smiled at him and he felt that he had made the right choice. Maybe tomorrow he would regret it, but for now he would simply sleep.