She was overly forward, some said. Others agreed and then added that she was far too inclined to speak her mind. Others still spoke of her birth with disdain. And they all rose up, a collective wave of disapproval at the sight of her arm twined within the King's. Ready to wash her away at her first sight of weakness, or favor lost.
Aware of their eyes, Reinette merely laughed, and whispered wit into her lover's ear. And the tide tugged back, out of fear she was speaking of them. Her eyes sparked. They were such a cowards, heavy with arrogance and satin.
What would they say if they knew?
That not only was she Jeanne Antionette Poisson, so recently acquired of the title Pompadour and keeper of the King's heart -- yes she was twenty five, a trifle old to be sure, but she was still in her looks -- but that she also was in the possession of a rather intriguing secret besides?
As she slipped through the tiled halls, bare feet making no sound and a negligee of hyacinth blue whispering behind, Reinette laughed out loud, and dared them to listen. They might follow if they wished, but they could not stop her. Not out of fear of Louis' temper nor her own influence, which grew daily.
The night air was cold against her skin but for once Reinette did not fear the chill, her own excitement bringing a flush to her skin that was just visible through her gown, glowing. The thin material took its lead from its owner. It was, perhaps, not entirely proper.
When the morning returned Reinette would be properly powdered and stayed, the intricacies of court language slipping easily off her tongue. But tonight it was the man above her that held her focus, and her energies. And tonight, she rather thought herself was what he needed most.
Life, not language. Warmth tinged with wit. The woman, and not the title.
She could not say precisely when she had fallen in love with the man, rather than the king. But the question made Reinette smile wistfully. Every detail of her life was guarded, and yet the wonderful, compelling, and unexpected all still managed to occur. And she could not imagine it any other way.
Through a passing window the stars glittered, and Reinette turned to study them even as her footsteps never hesitated. The colors blurred, and the panes of glass diluted them.
And then she was there. More laughter as the door swung open, and Reinette surveyed the object of her hurried attention. The flying chair was well hidden within the hallways of Versailles, and few knew it even existed. But even unseen it was still comprised of exquisite details. Warm paneling and carved woodwork were anchored by the single bench it contained, covered in midnight velvet.
Pulling herself within, Reinette found herself both still, and silent for a heavy moment. She shape of the chair, and its pulleys was an echo of an echo. If she pressed her eyes tightly enough together, it might be seen. The stars she found there were not blurred, rather the brightest, clearest she had ever seen.
"Can you hear me," Reinette pressed quietly, a soft urgency there. A question, aged two years. "Are you still there?"
Of course her only answer was another question, and a silent one at that. Just what would she do if he actually was? And so Reinette answered with action, thankful that her gown held little other than herself, for her plans would not be possible with hoops.
She simply would not fit. For this place was simply not -- no, it was just the size that it was. It held just her. And there was no fault, Reinette thought with fleeting smile, to be found in that.
"Can you hear me," she called out again, this time the words mixed with laughter and bearing the distinct sound of an announcement. "Are you still awake?" Arm over arm she operated the pulley system, lifting herself higher and higher, closer to Louis' chambers. The rope cut into the palms of her hands, and privately she told herself that it would be best to bring gloves next time.
Through floors of pomp and circumstance Reinette slipped, a slivered thread of silk, taunt with strength and purpose. Until she reached her destination.
The light of his chambers filled her eyes and Reinette uncoiled, quite nearly tumbling from the confined space and into Louis's startled arms. They shared a mutual smile at her cleverness, which he then set about kissing away in his own delight.
A woman of her stature was never meant to cross his threshold. And so? Reinette had simply found another way. They did not want her here, but Louis' wants were the only ones that gave her concern.
Then kissed him again.
The flying chair was indeed real, and Reinette used it frequently to bring herself to Louis' rooms after night fell.