Thursday, 30 January 2014

Desire's Detective: A Novella by Jacqueline Sapphire Chapter 1

Jacqueline Sapphire hereby declares 
that since the people here-in portrayed are long dead 
and unlikely to sue, the usual disclaimer should read as follows:
This is a work of fiction and any similarity with real history is purely coincidental.

Jacqueline Sapphire is a pen-name adopted by two friends who love the written word; and finding themselves living on opposite sides of the world, attempted to bridge that distance with the following piece of work.We hope you enjoy it, and have as much fun reading it as we had in the writing of it.

Desireé Robertson Cronson and Manuela Cardiga

Chapter 1

Noelle de Jouissance took one final look in the mirror and twirled herself around, pleased with what she had accomplished on her meagre budget. In Louis XV’s luxurious Court, addicted to extravagant display, she was practically a pauper. She was grateful her impeccable taste and her skill with the needle allowed her to transform her dresses, eluding rival Court beauties into believing she recruited the services of a sought-after seamstress. Only her confidante and best friend, Madame Pompadour knew her secret.

Noelle had become friends with her when she was asked to help dress the queen on her wedding day. Noelle had walked into the dressing room to find Madame Pompadour licking feverishly at the queen's nipples.

The queen and Madame Pompadour had been lovers for many years, since they were girls, and the passion they shared was not going to come to an end anytime soon.

Noelle was sworn to secrecy, and her silence had its benefits. The queen had been instrumental in convincing the king into recruiting Noelle as a private investigator.

Someone in the palace was poisoning the Jesters and after many attempts at finding the culprit, the King’s Guard was no closer to making an arrest. Although the King was not pleased at the suggestion that a woman could succeed where his Guard had failed, he capitulated to his wife’s persuasion. Perhaps a woman, moving silently and unnoticed in the Court’s circles could discover the vicious killer hiding in their midst.

Noelle was given modest quarters in Versailles, an equally modest stipend, and invited to every function at the palace. This placed her in a delightful position for furthering her own agenda: to handpick the perfect husband. Anyone rich, noble and devastatingly handsome would do.

Her first marriage had been a disaster, best forgotten. In fact, no one at Court knew she had ever been married at all.

Father Pierre, the Queen’s Confessor had been difficult to convince. Tearful confessions of regret and endless afternoons kneeling before him, while he groaned and writhed in ecstasy in the confession box, had earned her his endorsement of her annulment papers. The memory of his shriveled, warty old genitals in her mouth still made her gag.

She knew she had to invest all her skill into a brighter future. She tightened her corset, squeezing her waist in even tighter, and teased the lace fichu on her low-cut bodice a little lower. She placed a tiny black velvet beauty spot on the curve of her left breast, enhancing the satiny whiteness of her lush breasts. Her eye was on Lord Marmeduke, an English import who was visiting his very wealthy French aunt, the delightful Madame Deneurve.

Madame Deneurve was a colorful older woman: eccentric in the extreme and terribly outspoken, which was not exactly acceptable behavior in royal circles, but she was worth millions, and had, in her youth been a favored bed-partner to the old King and knew where a lot of skeletons were buried.

The old Lady was always on the list of sought after guests, guaranteed to enliven any boring party or ball with her irreverent chatter. Lord Marmaduke - a modest, quiet-spoken, pleasant and handsome man - was Madame’s only heir. He was also single, wealthy in his own right, and likely to get wealthier when the old relic passed away.

Noelle knew she would see him tonight and was determined to enchant him with her little beauty spot.


Noelle entered the palace ball room. She paused dramatically, to ensure her arrival was noted. In a Court rife with beauties, she knew she was arrestingly attractive, and many a jaded eye was caught by her lush figure.

With certainty tonight was the night she would capture the attention of Lord Marmeduke. For the Masquerade, Noelle had made a beautiful glittering deep violet mask with white feathers that framed her emerald eyes to perfection.

The feathered mask complemented the most stunning ensemble she had ever created: a shimmering violet gown with a provocatively plunging neck line that daringly showed the edges of her rouged nipples.

Her timing was perfect and she could have heard a pin dropping on the marble floors as she made her grand entrance.

Her rivals were speechless with rage, and suitors vying for her hand flocked to greet her. She was undeniably the Belle of the Ball. Madame Pompadour and her debonair husband were chatting to Lord Marmaduke and Madame Deneurve, and she whisked past her admirers to greet them.

Lord Marmaduke was as captivated as she had hoped, and he gallantly led her out to dance as the violins began to play.


The coach sped over the bumps and stones, mercilessly throwing its young passenger back and forth against the velvet cushions. Desireé sighed. She could hardly believe she was leaving her childhood home and refuge behind. The lovely landscape of poverty-stricken rural France unspooled before her eyes. The picturesque villages and cultivated fields; the charming chateaus were a grim contrast to the pinched faces of the bare-foot children.

Desireé knew her life’s true mission was amongst these people, tending to their needs, nurturing their souls; and not in glittery Versailles, in high-heels and satin. She clasped her delicate hands together and closed her eyes tightly.

“My dear, you must be strong”, the voice of the Mother Superior at St Cyr echoed in her memory. “God calls and we must answer. Do not doubt there will be many thirsty souls at Court: you will be a fount of goodness, a shining light. Perhaps more needed than you could imagine…”

She had been about to enter the Novitiate when the fateful letter had arrived, ordering her to present herself at Court; and place herself in the care of her cousin, Mm. Noelle de Jouissance, her only living relative. Desireé remembered her vaguely, a green-eyed angelic-looking girl seven years her senior. She could hardly believe all her plans for the future, her tranquil life with the Sisters could so easily be overturned by one letter.

The cracking of a whip and a vicious scream of invective from the coachman tore her from her reverie. The coach now trundled between stunning gardens, manicured lawns interrupted by fountains where nude statues reposed in languorous poses, sometimes spouting water from… gasping, Desireé averted her eyes.

Before her, Versailles unfolded in all its splendor; like a fanciful sugar confection cast into stone by a dizzy Fairy-Godmother. The sour-faced coachman threw down her luggage, then leapt down and opened the coach door. Trembling, Desireé alighted and stood riveted, as he drove away. Never had she felt more alone, more abandoned than at that moment, not even as a six-year old orphan.

“Desireé?” A husky voice, with a lilting quality spoke from behind her. Gasping, Desireé turned and found herself facing (had she but known it) the woman who was to be the single most important influence in her future life: a tall figure - lissome, but somehow voluptuous - moved gracefully towards her. She glimpsed glistening emerald eyes, and a lush scarlet mouth, before she found herself enveloped in an intoxicating cloud of jasmine, pressed against firm springy breasts.

“Oh my dear, Sacré Dieu, how you’ve grown!” This, this lush fleshed woman with the full pouting mouth, her rouged nipples peeking over the edge of her scandalously low-cut bodice must be Noelle. Her cousin Noelle! Desireé found herself flushing. How could she stand there, her breasts overflowing, her waist so tightly strapped her hips swelled with obscene ripeness under the farthingales. She found herself fascinated, unable to draw her horrified eyes away from a black velvet patch glued onto Noelle’s left breast, an inch above the crimson peak.

“My little Desireé, you are so pretty! We must find you something to wear, you look like a nun.” Desireé found herself being firmly herded through a luxuriously appointed sitting-room, up a narrow staircase, two floors, a long corridor, and into a large but modestly furnished room.

“Here, darling, you will stay here with me.” Noelle sat on a graceful chair and gestured Desireé onto another.

“Tell me about yourself, what can you do? Do you speak English? Italian?” Noelle leaned forward eagerly “Do you sing, or play the clavichord? Perhaps you are talented in other pursuits?” Her cousin was turning out to be quite disturbing in her mannerisms; her pink tongue seemed to lick out her words, “we de Jouissance girls must move up in the world, my dear.”

That evening, dressed in a pale grey silk gown with a very modest décolletage, the work of the St Cyr seamstress, (after refusing point-blank a frothy scarlet voile confection proffered by Noelle as «sensual» that left her shoulders and her small breasts practically nude) she attended her very first Versailles dinner and masked ball.

The people were astonishingly friendly: not at all what she was expecting from the notoriously standoffish aristocracy. The Ladies smiled openly at her, running admiring eyes over her dress and upswept – and un-powdered - hair; the Gentlemen were even more amiable, stopping Noelle to beg for an introduction. Really, these people had a most unsettling habit of licking their lips. It looked very unpleasant, animalistic even. A few of them actually slavered. One elderly Gentleman, overcome by paternal affection, kept planting moist kisses on her hands and wrists, and was shortsightedly moving up her arms when Desireé finally managed to extricate herself from his grasp.

Noelle watched sympathetically as she patted her hands dry on the back of her skirt.

“I hate that, especially on my tits.” Desireé gaped at her cousin in horror. “Oh please! You telling me no-one’s drooled on your boobs?”

“N-No!” she gasped “N-never!” Noelle drew her into one of the doorways and stared at her in horror.

“Desireé, are you a virgin?”

“O-of course!!!”

“Bon Dieu de la Merde! A virgin.” Noelle was dead white, “What am I going to do with a virgin in Versailles?” Her hands trembled as she handed Desireé an egret’s feather mask.

“You sit, you don’t talk to anyone, you don’t go anywhere. After the ball we will talk. Now, I have work to do…”

The revelers were given the cue to don their masks. Noelle was much too vain to simply put it on, so she scurried off to the adjacent parlor with its glittering floor-length Venetian mirrors to do just that. She had to look perfect.

She thought about her sweet cousin and shook her head. A virgin at her age.

Noelle had lost her virginity at age 13. In fact, her breasts had already developed by 12, as had her appetites.

Francois, her very first love, had kissed her in his Father’s vineyards, and she’d felt his erect penis pressing against her through his trousers. Trembling with eager curiosity, she’d slipped her hands in and drawn him out.

He was 4 years older than Noelle, bur equally inexperienced. That night, they had fumbled their way into ecstasy. Francois and Noelle were inseparable until the day he told her his father had arranged his marriage to a girl from a very wealthy family and he could – and would not- go against his Father’s wishes.

She was devastated. She cried for what seemed an eternity. The next day she awoke and looked at herself in the mirror. She looked drawn, tired and her eyes were lusterless. She looked old.

She was determined that never again would she love. She would use her beauty, the sensuality oozing from her body to make her way in the world. Never again would she be hurt by a man’s rejection. It was time to blossom again, to renew herself. She was determined her future would be brilliant. Was she not the most beautiful girl in her town? Even Father Yves stared at her over-long at mass...

If only she had not fallen pregnant, all would have been well. Her parents were outraged. A noble family, albeit much reduced by poverty, did not take kindly to a seventeen year old pregnant by a local farmers son who refused to marry her.

Phillipe, an elderly local merchant, was persuaded to marry her as quickly as possible. It was a small hurried country wedding. Her figure at that early stage was unaffected by the pregnancy and Phillipe was well pleased. By day she worked in his draper’s shop selling cloth and learning to sew and embroider from his sharp-tongued mother - her slim fingers bleeding from the unaccustomed work- by night he enjoyed her firm young body.

Though in his mid sixties, and a widower, he was most demanding. Overcome by lust for his young wife, he possessed her constantly, becoming more and more aroused - rather than less - as her belly swelled.

He became rougher in his love-making too, sometimes actually hurting her in his frenzy.

One morning she woke and saw blood streaking the linen sheets and when she went to her chamber-pot saw pieces of what looked like flesh mixed in with her bloody morning water.

That day she quietly cleaned out his cash drawer, packed her best gowns and left for Paris.

The bright lights in the powder room brought her back to the present and she straightened her mask and went off in search of Lord Marmeduke. She knew she should keep an eye on her young cousin but she had more important things on her mind, and Desiree' would have to learn to look out for herself.

Lord Marmaduke was dancing with Mademoiselle Giselle, another contender for his affections. As she approached the dance floor, she noticed Mademoiselle Giselle's dress dragging on the ground and Noelle, in a swift move stood on her train, ripping off almost the entire skirt. Mademoiselle Giselle let out an embarrassed shriek, and fled.

With her no longer in the way Noelle graciously stepped forward to play the damsel eager to help the distressed. Her striking green eyes peeping through her mask was a dead give away, those eyes could be recognized anywhere and Lord Marmaduke looked almost relieved to be rescued by her.

They danced to a few quadrilles, swaying back and forth and on the last twirl she spun around too quickly and almost fell to the ground and he quickly swept her into his arms and their eyes locked. It was at this moment that she knew she had caught his attention, and all she now had to do was butter up his aunt who was anxious to marry her nephew off, to the right girl of course. Noelle was determined to show her she was the only girl.


Desireé sat obediently on the edge of a chaise-longue, clasping her hands modestly in her lap, the feathered mask ticking her cheeks and her nose.

“May I…?”

Startled she looked up to see a tired-looking young man in a magnificent purple damask coat and a powdered white wig. A plain back-satin mask accentuated his drawn features.

Desireé scuttled over to leave him as much room as possible. He sank down with a sigh.

“I’m so tired: roistering in the morning, rogering in the afternoon. Really, I must find some time to sleep.” He reached up and pulled off his wig which he dropped on the cushions between them, revealing unruly dark boyish curls, “and now these nightly balls! I have to service Mm. d’ O in half an hour, then that new Russian Countess at 12.30, and I promised Mou Sieur le Comte de Villiers I would accompany him to Paris for a little riotous rape…”

Desireé giggled: he was so droll! He glanced at her startled.

“You find it amusing? I have to work very hard - and I mean hard - to keep my reputation, you know. I sometimes wish I’d been less zealous at earning it, but when you’re young you think being the best cocks-man in Court is as good as being the heir to the Throne.”

“Oh I love Coc-au-Vin! Roast Capon, Chicken Fricaseé, Sister Stella always said I was a poultry fanatic!”

“Fricaseé?” The young man peered intently at Desireé through the eye-holes of his mask; taking in the delicate satiny complexion, the rose-bud mouth, the wisps of silken un-powdered hair escaping her severe hair-do. His eyes lingered on the long neck, slid over the edge of the grey silk, took in the slender mounds of her young breasts.

“Who are you?”

Desireé smiled and extended one slender hand: “Desireé de Jouissance, at your service! I am Noelle’s cousin.”

The young man looked even more surprised.

“Noelle? The Noelle? I know Noelle quite well.”

“Oh how lovely!” Desireé smiled at him joyously, “Then we are already friends.”

She shook his hand firmly. “I have just arrived and was so afraid…but everyone is so friendly!”

“Yes…We are all very friendly. From where exactly did you arrive?”

“From St Cyr. I am going to take the veil, but the King’s Minister ordered me to place myself under my cousin’s guardianship for the season.” She leaned forward, her dark eyes shinning earnestly, “My calling, you see, is healing. Souls. I feel it most strongly.”

The young man looked absolutely fascinated.

“Healing souls? There are many wounded souls right here. Mine, for instance…I have this pain…Do you heal by the laying on of hands?”

“No. By prayer. I believe in the power of prayer.”

“The thought of you kneeling to pray is…delightful” The young man licked his lips in that disturbing way.

“Monsieur,” Noelle interrupted, dropping a graceful courtesy, “pray forgive my cousin, she means no disrespect. She is newly arrived at Court!”

The young man got to his feet waving a languid hand, “That’s quite alright, she was about to kneel to pray for my soul…You can come back for her later, my dear Noelle.”

“Sire, I beg you…” Noelle leaned forward and whispered earnestly in the young man’s ear. He stared at Desireé in astonished awe.

“How old are you, my dear?”

“Twenty, Sir.”

He gaped at her in disbelief.

“Twenty?” Noelle once again whispered in his ear.

“Oh very well, but you will make it up to me Noelle de Jouissance.”

Noelle dropped the young man another deep courtesy and dragged Desireé hastily away.

“I told you not to talk to anyone and I find you chatting up the most dangerous, debauched and dissipated roué in Europe.”

“He seemed very pleasant…and devout.”

That is Jean, Duc de Orleans, the King’s brother.”


No comments:

Post a Comment