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 tonight's gonna be a good night, Catherine Howard
Anne Boleyn
Posted: Oct 22 2011, 12:01 AM


December 26, 1512

Ah, Christmas celebrations! Twelve of the most decadent days of the year, and Anne would enjoy every one of them. It was still a day or so with what Anne was sure would be the piece de resistance -- Her uncle's mask. But that was no reason for the woman not to enjoy the celebrations beforehand. Tonight she was clad in a deep green gown, reminiscent of the holly leaves that decorated the hall. Her hair was kept from her face with a French hood and her favorite necklace, the one with the B and the pearls, clung to her neck.

The musicians were certainly turning out spirited tunes tonight! Anne was tempted to be one of the first on the dance floor, but instead she took up a cup of wine and, as usual, walked the crowd with it. Laughing, talking, and even flirting -- she did enjoy getting a feel of those she was about to spend a night in the company of. Most were merry on the heels of the day of Christ's birth, many intent on splurging after the customary fast. Anne would not stuff herself silly, no -- she was here to enjoy herself!

In the crowd she saw a flash of golden hair and that face, so different from her own despite that fact that both young women were cousins. Catherine Howard, arguably one of her favorite cousins, was beautiful as an angel. And while the girl could be simple and a bit silly, Anne rather liked her. Perhaps with a bit of work Catherine could come closer to resembling Anne or the Duke of Norfolk... But Anne would not hold her breath. And that, perhaps, pained her a little to think such a thing. Catherine was a wonderful woman, though she tended to act juvenile. Despite this, Anne made her way over. "Cousin!" She joined arms with the blonde young woman. "How has your Christmas been? We haven't spoken in so long!"
Catherine Howard
Posted: Oct 30 2011, 02:59 AM


What part of no did he not understand?

Catherine moved quickly through the crowd, trying to lose the young man who pursued her. She had only met him two weeks ago and he was so handsome that she had been drawn to him immediately. He had paid her lots of attention and praised her beauty and gave her little gifts … all of the things that she loved. As she didn't want him to think she was a strumpet, she had waited for a couple of days before she had allowed him to kiss her. And that was the moment that the enchantment ended.

He kissed like a dead chicken. Not that Catherine knew what it was like to kiss a dead chicken. Actually, they couldn't kiss at all because they were dead. But if dead chickens could kiss, that was what it would be like. It was slobbery and disgusting and icky and she had thought she was going to throw up. Eventually, she had been able to make an excuse and leave, and she had believed that would be the end of it.

But no, he still thought she liked him, and took every opportunity to seek her out. She had told him that she was not interested in him anymore, but apparently he thought she was playing hard to get. Catherine didn't know what else to do but to attempt to avoid him. It was especially difficult during the nightly celebrations, because he always seemed to be lurking about just waiting for the sight of her.

And tonight she was rather hard to miss in her bright red silk gown, with matching crimson ribbons pulling her pale blonde hair back from her face. Perhaps she should have wore something less noticeable, but she loved red because it was so Christmasy.

Catherine ducked behind the dancers, and made her way to the other side of the hall, trying to blend in with the multitude of people standing around and conversing. For the moment, it looked like she might be safe. Dead Chicken … she could not remember his real name ... was nowhere to be seen, and the young woman stopped to catch her breath. Had she lost him at last? With any luck, maybe he had found some other woman to prey on, perhaps someone who liked men who kissed like dead chickens.

Breathing a deep sigh of relief, she looked around her, and noticed her cousin Anne heading in her direction. A bright smile lit up her face. Catherine loved Anne and had always looked up to her. She was so very pretty and she seemed to always know what she wanted and how to get it. Catherine knew that Anne would never put up with someone like Dead Chicken. She would know how to get rid of him once and for all. Not for the first time, Catherine wished she could be more like her cousin.

Her smile widened when Anne locked arms with her. “I've been having a wonderful Christmas!” she exclaimed, her blue eyes as wide with wonder as a child's. “I got lots of presents so far and some of them were even from secret admirers. I wonder who they are, and if they are handsome.” Looking over at the other woman, her gaze turned curious. “And how are you faring this Christmas? You look so pretty tonight! I'll bet you got even more presents than me!”
Anne Boleyn
Posted: Nov 4 2011, 10:52 PM


Catherine could always solicit a smile, and tonight was no different. Her words, though sickeningly sweet and innocent at times, made Anne smile. If she had ever been so carefree and delighted at little things like gifts from secret admirers or sparkly baubles, she could not remember it. Part of her perhaps even envied her cousin -- to her everything must have been enchanting, but to Anne everything was cold and calculated and the right thing must be said at the right place and the right time. But whatever level of envy the raven-haired woman had for her fair-haired cousin, she would push it aside.

Her fingers squeezed her cousin's arm and she laughed. "I look pretty? Look at yourself; together we shall surely drive the sprigs of holly mad with envy, paired as we are." Her chest swelled with her pride and she continued. "Never before were two cousins so happily matched in their manner of dress, Catherine!" And with that, Anne laughed again. Laughter was something she tended to do, but with Catherine it was even easier. She lifted Anne's spirits, made the worries weigh less on her mind.

"I've received my fair amount of gifts, surely." Anne replied. She didn't think she could boast of secret admirers; no, she was certain that she did not give off the air of a woman who would welcome such attentions. Anne did like attention, she thrived upon it, but she preferred to garner it from men with good intentions or, at the very least, a high title. "But the celebrations are not yet over, and the New Year is coming." That was when the King received his gifts, and Anne would certainly garner a few more as well.

"Your cheeks are flushed; have you been dancing this evening?" Anne queried, her cobalt eyes casing to the dance floor. "I do enjoy a good volta -- I hope they play one this evening!"
Catherine Howard
Posted: Nov 10 2011, 11:09 AM


Anne had always been Catherine's favorite cousin. She admired her beauty, her confidence, and her intelligence, and she often wished she could be more like her. Not that she wasn't happy with herself the way she was, but Anne did not seem to get into as much trouble as Catherine did, and other people tended to respect her more. Just like they respected Isabel. Perhaps that was because her sister and cousin were both a few years older than she. Maybe you had to be over twenty before anyone took you seriously.

“Of course everyone will be envious of us,” she laughed. “We are the two most beautiful women here.” Catherine was not at all vain, but she had been told she was attractive so many times that she believed it must be true. She thought Anne was prettier than she was. Catherine's hair and eyes were so pale that she always felt colorless beside her cousin's dark beauty. But at least her gown was bright. “How can anyone resist us, especially when we are together?”

And she was pleased that Anne had received a lot of gifts too. She wondered what they were and which of them that she liked best, but before she could ask, her cousin mentioned the New Year and Catherine's blue eyes lit up with excitement.

“Ohhh, yes, we'll get even more gifts then!” she exclaimed. “And probably every day until then as well. I love Christmas. It is so much fun that I wish it could be every day of the year. Wouldn't that be wonderful, Anne? If every day was Christmas?”

A fleeting shadow passed over Catherine's delicate features when Anne mentioned her flushed cheeks. She had nearly forgotten about Dead Chicken, and she knew that as long as she remained by Anne's side, she would be safe. If he approached her now, her cousin would probably scare him away with just a look. No one messed with Anne. Oh, how Catherine wished she was like that. It would make her life a lot easier.

“No, I haven't been dancing. I've been running,” she said, the happy smile fading from her face. “There is this man who keeps chasing me. I told him that I wasn't interested a couple of weeks ago, but he just won't leave me alone.” Sighing in frustration, she turned imploring eyes to her cousin. She was so smart and worldly that maybe she would be able to help. “Do you know how I can get rid of him, Anne? I just want him to go away for good.”
Anne Boleyn
Posted: Nov 14 2011, 12:33 PM


If there was ever one thing Anne could count on Catherine for, it was her confidence. It was a different confidence from Anne's vested more in her appearance than much else, but whereas one of her sister's was a simpering and mincing half-wit always belying her own qualities, Catherine was the exact opposite. Howard women did seem to possess more of an aptitude for beauty than other families, and Anne quite liked Catherine's acknowledgement of her own -- of their own. A smile was given to Catherine -- she certainly was one of the few people prone to receive them from Anne without another motive! -- and the older woman laughed.

"Together you and I shall be a dangerous duo, Beautιs dangereuses." Her blue eyes cased the Great Hall and Anne whispered to her cousin, "I am sure that we could conquer France and even England together, my dear cousin. For I suppose we are unrivaled, in our own ways." Anne's pride could get the best of her when she was not coquetting for the joy of men. "And look, there is one dark and one light to suit a man's preference!" She laughed again at that, her laughter tinkling like a glass.

The only detriment was Catherine's simple innocence. It pained Anne, truly. She was glad perhaps that she was not like that -- perhaps if she could educate Catherine to leave such simplicity behind, they could truly take the court by storm! Mary was hopeless, and already married to a mere knight! There was hope yet for Catherine Howard, if she would be taught. "The best gifts are those given freely." Anne commented -- whether they were earned or not was no concern of hers.

But there was a dent in their joy and frivolity -- Anne was experienced in acknowledging the emotion behind a facade, behind an expression. The shadow did not pass unmarked and, instead of saying something, Anne waited to see if her cousin would save her the trouble. She was not disappointed. Her usual joyous visage darkened and Anne glowered -- a frightening look to her face. Her brows steepled like angry crows in a dive, and her lips pursed.

"Who is this?" Her eyes, burning with fury, looked across the hall as though to pick out the culprit. How ungentlemanly of him -- how dare anyone think they could reach for a Howard so easily! The gall of some men, men who dared to be social climbers -- or at least have conquest in the beds of high families! Anne took her cousin's hand in hers and patted it. "There are several ways, my dear. You could feign clingy infatuation, or you could speak of marriage -- marriage often cools the heels of those who are made of such weak swill." Anne's mind moved briskly -- she had spent years manipulating men, she should no doubt be able to help her cousin rid herself of this man. "Or brag of your other admirers, and how they are the jealous type. But I find that a clingy woman is something men are hasty to shake themselves of."
Catherine Howard
Posted: Nov 20 2011, 11:28 AM


Catherine frowned when Anne said something in French. The words sounded vaguely like something in English, but so vaguely she could not figure out what they meant. French had not been a subject that she had been taught when she lived with her step-grandmother, and sometimes she felt that she was the only one at court that didn't understand a word of it. Maybe Anne could teach her? Then they would have an excuse to spend more time together. For some reason, her cousin always made her feel good about herself and she liked that.

And with all the French around, it would be helpful if she knew what they were saying. A few times, she had noticed men watching her, and she could not understand the remarks they made to their companions. What if they were saying she was ugly, or stupid, or something else horrible about her? At least if she knew, she could slap them. Sometimes even when they spoke English, she could barely understand them because their accents were so heavy. Yes, she should definitely ask Anne to teach her. But not now. She didn't want to ruin the evening by having to learn. That could happen after Christmas, when it was too cold to do anything else and both she and Anne were bored.

If Anne agreed to teach her at all.

Catherine was not certain what she expected when she explained her dilemma, but she was not prepared for her cousin's angry scowl. Anne could look quite frightening when she was infuriated, and at first Catherine was afraid that anger was directed at her. Yet instead of pulling back, she clung even tighter to Anne's arm, as if imploring her not to be mad because she didn't know how to make men stop chasing her.

But it seemed as if her cousin was angry at Dead Chicken instead. “I don't remember his name,” she said, “but that's him standing over there by the wall behind the musicians … the man wearing the green and blue doublet. I think he is hiding,” she whispered, “waiting for me to walk by so he can grab me.”

Catherine listened intently to her cousin's advice. It seemed that Anne thought that throwing herself at him would make him go away. And while she believed everything Anne said ... because she was smart and her advice had always been good in the past … Catherine was afraid that in this case, it would backfire on her. What if she started speaking of marriage and he asked her uncle if he could marry her? Then she would be stuck with him forever and ever. Pretending she had jealous admirers might work, unless he asked her to prove it. Catherine had plenty of admirers, but none of them were really the jealous type.

Anne seemed to think that being clingy was the best option, but …

“If I act clingy, he'll want to kiss me,” she wailed, “and he kisses like a dead chicken! Certainly there must be some other way!”
Anne Boleyn
Posted: Dec 9 2011, 06:31 PM


There, Catherine's eyebrows knit together in thought and she looked, much to Anne's mind, like a poor kicked puppy when Anne's French endearment rolled off her tongue. The raven-haired woman laughed (not at Catherine) and assured her, "It only means 'dangerous beauties' in French, my dear. It is nothing to fret about -- As though I could ever endeavor to say troubling words about you in French or English!" And for that Catherine could count herself lucky. Not many, even Anne's relatives, could say such or be completely unscathed in Anne's mind. Mary was a prime example, and though she was married to a mere knight, Anne felt that she still deserved shaming, even if her situation was bleak.

Anne's eyes were cast across the room, honing in on the man Catherine described. Her face looked even more dour. The man;s pedigree could be nothing great with a beak like that, and even if it was... Well, her cousin deserved a man rich in both titles and handsome looks. "That miserable cur! How dare he!" Catherine's own distaste for the man encouraged her cousin to reveal what she felt. Anne's cobalt eyes cased back to her cousin and she rolled her eyes. "The man is clearly lacking sensibility to think that you could ever give him a kind word -- or glance!"

Anne was about to soothe her cousin's worries, but then what Catherine said about the man's kisses caused her to arch an eyebrow. Her voice became low, kinder than a hiss, but only just. "What? Catherine, if you cannot even remember his name, how can you know how he kisses?" It was not motherly concern that would suffocate that was in Anne's voice, but concern for... discretion, for guarding her honor and chastity -- God knew that it was the only thing some women could hold out of a man's reach!

The woman's dark eyebrows furrowed like hawks going in for a dive, and Anne spoke again. "I mean not to sound unduly harsh, sweet cousin, but it seems you have dug yourself into this hole. I can attempt to help, yes, but not if you continue to do so!" She wasn't going to lecture Catherine on honor or virtue and everything else -- it wasn't characteristic of her in any way. "I shan't treat you like a child; you are a beautiful woman, and I shan't go running to His Grace. But you would not find yourself in such situations if you kept your kisses for those who truly deserved them -- those with titles and beautiful visages."
Catherine Howard
Posted: Dec 19 2011, 08:53 AM


Catherine tilted her head to the side as Anne explained her French. Yes, that was what it had sounded like. Dangerous beauties. She should have figured that out for herself. “I wish I could speak French,” she sighed wistfully, forgetting that she had just vowed not to bring up the subject. Sometimes she felt so silly next to her cousin, almost like a child who knew nothing at all. And she certainly did not feel dangerous. Anne could be considered so, for she was so intelligent and so witty and seemed to know how to act in any situation. She would be a formidable woman to cross and no one would ever be able to convince her to do anything that she did not believe would benefit her in some way. Catherine herself wanted to please others and, to her own chagrin, often found herself coerced into situations that she didn't really want to be in, usually by those playing upon her considerable sympathy. Once she realized she was being used, it was usually too late.

And most of those situations involved those of the male pursuasion.

Anne's beautiful visage darkened as her eyes swept over the man who would not leave Catherine alone. Oh, how she wished that she could look so fierce, but even on the rare occasions she had tried to imitate her cousin's expressions in front of her mirror, she had just ended up looking stupid. She admired Anne, but she knew that she could not be like her, as much as she wished she could.

Catherine's eyes sought out the solace of the floor when Anne mentioned that he did not deserve even a glance from her. She had given him much more than a glance, and now she felt quite embarrassed about it. Yet what else could she do? He had paid her a lot of attention and given her gifts. Didn't she owe him something for that?

She vowed that she would not tell Anne what she had done, but she found herself blurting it out anyway. And her cousin sounded so angry at her, believing that she should not kiss a man if she did not remember his name. Again she looked down at the floor, and tears brimmed behind her blue eyes. She did not want to disappoint Anne, but it seemed that she had done so anyway.

Taking a deep breath, she lifted her gaze as Anne continued speaking. She seemed the think that Catherine was to blame for leading the man on. Had she done so, simply by allowing him a few simple kisses? And oh, how happy she was that Anne would say nothing to their uncle, even though she did not think what she had done was that dire. Still, he would be displeased with her. He might ignore her most of the time … and since she was afraid of him, that was how she preferred it … but she lived in fear that he might one day send her away from court if she was a disappointment to him.

Her teeth worried her lower lip as Anne told her that she could save her kisses for those who deserved them. “So I shouldn't kiss anyone?” she asked in confusion. “Even if they give me gifts or if they ask me to? I've known that man for two weeks now. Aren't you supposed to kiss a man if you have known him for so long?”
Anne Boleyn
Posted: Dec 20 2011, 11:21 AM


Catherine's sigh of desire to learn French was not unnoticed, but Anne ignored it for now. Her attention was not turned to Catherine's wistful wishes, but her actions. She knew her cousin could be somewhat silly and naive -- she was a young woman, after all. It was her prerogative. But if this pattern of behavior continued... That was what was distressing. Anne didn't want Catherine to turn into Mary -- She could still remember the first time she heard the English Mare whispered in the court of France. How her cheeks had burned, how shamed and angry Anne had been to be Mary's sister. Anne would not want to be the same regarding her cousin.

Like blue flames, the raven-haired woman's eyes flashed at Catherine's question and statements. She supposed that she could not expect much more from her at such a young age -- After all, her mother had been too busy bearing children to properly rear them -- how could Joyce Howard do so with ten children and being constantly pregnant? And there was the matter of Edmund's poor financial decisions, something that there had been much discussion over in the Howard family circle, at least to Anne's ears. Catherine simply did not know better -- that must have been it. Anne sympathized, but her sympathy had a certain bite to it as her gaze fell on her cousin's sweet and innocent face.

"Catherine..." Her tone was gentle and firm at the same time. "Your kisses, your womanly nature is the only thing you have in this life that can be used against men. They endeavor to possess us wholeheartedly -- as our fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons." Anne's eyes flashed back to the man across the hall, disdain on her face before her gaze returned to Catherine. "If we are so wont to give away our only weapons, how can we ever hope to win?"

The allegory might have been a bit heady for Catherine, but Anne pressed on. "If you ever wish to have a man that you truly adore or, in the meantime admirers that will continue to lavish affection on you, you must never give in." Anne spoke with gusto as she continued -- this was one subject she was particularly well-versed in. "You do not relent -- You stay a strong pillar, for all men want what they cannot have, yes?"

Whether Anne got through to her cousin or not, she was unsure. But Catherine's wistful wish came back to her to be used to her advantage. "I shall tell you this -- if you do your best to not give away your kisses so easily... Perhaps I shall teach you French. Would you like that, Catherine?"
Catherine Howard
Posted: Jan 5 2012, 11:17 AM


Nobody had ever instructed Catherine on how to act around men. Everything she knew she had learned from the older girls at Lambeth, who often entertained men in the middle of the night in the dormitory the girls all shared. She had become accustomed to hearing grunts and moans coming from nearby beds and it wasn't long after her arrival that she figured out what was going on. Kissing was tame compared to what they had done, and Catherine had never seen anything wrong with rewarding a handsome gentleman with a kiss … or two … or more. Sometimes the kisses led to other things, but only twice since she had come to court had she allowed her flirtations to go so far, and both of those times she had been head over heels in love. And she had thought that those two men had been in love with her as well, but eventually they had stopped seeing her. She had been heartbroken, but as usual she had recovered quickly, for it was not long until someone else had come along, showering her with flattery, attention, and most importantly … gifts. Catherine loved gifts.

Yet now Anne was telling her that what she had been doing was wrong, and this perplexed her. What did she mean by using kisses against men? Kissing and flirting was supposed to attract them and make them love you, and more than anything, Catherine longed to be loved. If she did not show them she was interested, then they would just leave and find someone else who was. How did one show interest without kisses and caresses? She also didn't understand what her cousin meant by giving away her weapons. Catherine didn't have any weapons, not even a knife.

Her head tilted to the side as Anne continued, this time in a way that was easier for her to understand. So if she did not kiss them so much, her admirers would stay around longer? It did seem sometimes as if they tired of her quickly, but there was always someone else to take their place. Was she giving them too much too soon? If she held back on her kisses … if she pretended not to like a man at all … would he then want her so much that he would fall in love with her and want to marry her? That is all she truly wished for … a husband who worshiped her and a couple of adorable babies. Only a couple of babies, because she didn't want to get into the same situation as her parents … having so many children that they'd had to send their youngest away just so she would have enough to eat. But that would never happen to her, because she planned on marrying someone who was extremely rich. The two men she had loved had been fabulously wealthy, and maybe that was partly why she had loved them. They gave her expensive presents and Catherine had had so little in her life that she had developed a love for fine things.

Her cousin's offer to teach her French made her want to give Anne's suggestions a try. “Ohhh, would you teach me, Anne?” she asked, a sparkle in her blue eyes. “I will do anything if you will. I will never kiss a man again. But ...” Again she bit her lower lip, as if somehow that would help her understand. “... If I don't kiss them, won't they think I don't like them and go find someone who will? If I turn them all down, I will have no one and I don't want to be lonely. Will they really like me more if I don't give them what they want? How can that be?"
Anne Boleyn
Posted: Jan 12 2012, 02:27 PM


Poor Catherine. Anne could see from the look in her eyes that she was having some trouble grasping this. Perhaps the fair-haired girl even thought her cousin was lying to her, or making fun of her. Such were the consequences of a childhood spent running wild with no proper authority in her life. Anne had met her step-grandmother on several occasions and thought her vacant in every form of the word. That was surely all that the Dowager Duchess had been to poor Catherine -- And the Dowager Duchess was not a person for Catherine to emulate. Anne felt pity for her cousin. It was not overbearing or a feeling that would drown Anne's regard for Catherine -- it was simply a sad acknowledgement that Catherine had not been educated like her cousin.

Anne would make her better. The raven-haired woman was not one for crusades or missions of goodwill but, damn it, Catherine was a Howard. She would not become another English Mare. Anne would reform her -- Anne would make her better, and get her the husband that she deserved. And perhaps they would have some fun along the way, who knew? Anything could happen in the court of Henry VIII.

The offer of teaching Catherine French was leverage that Anne would use to her advantage. Her cousin's enthusiasm in itself was encouraging that she could, well, blackmail was such a harsh word but yes, blackmail her cousin into behaving for now. Anne gave her a wide smile and replied, "If you give me your word to behave better, it would be my pleasure to teach you French. It would be almost as though we're talking in secret!" Such fluff would be appreciated by Catherine, surely.

But still, it seemed Anne's words were giving Catherine problems processing. Taking a bracing breath, Anne did her best to put what she was were evident truths into words that Catherine would understand. "Catherine, do you see that pastry?" Anne queried, gesturing to a confection of powdered sugar and cream resting on a nearby table -- practically begging someone to eat it. "You cannot have it." Anne paused for a moment and asked, "Though you may have not noticed it before, did you not want it once I told you that you could not?

"It is the same with men. Tell them that they cannot have something, when most of them have been given whatever they want their entire lives simply by reason of their gender... You have awoken a fierce beast that will do what they can to coax that, which has been forbidden, into their possession." Anne's eyes sparkled as she spoke, and she even laughed a little. "I am not trying to lead you astray or turn you into a nun, heavens no! But holding back will simply grow a man's passion for you. And you may reward him with a kiss now and then, but a chaste kiss, and nothing more." She almost felt like a scholar telling Catherine these truths! "Do you understand, sweet Catherine?"
Catherine Howard
Posted: Jan 19 2012, 11:33 AM


“Oh! Oh!” Catherine was nearly bouncing up and down with excitement, her long blonde curls dancing around her. “Yes, we can talk in secret and no one will know what we are saying. Every woman will want to be just like us, because we are so beautiful and so smart. And every man will try to gain our affection."

Catherine knew that she was not nearly as intelligent as her cousin, but learning French would make her smarter. And then maybe she would be able to learn other things until she was so smart that everyone would come to her for advice. Even the King. She realized that she was just being silly like a fanciful child, and she should be more mature now that she was grown. Yet she was not quite ready to leave her girlhood behind. There was a certain safety in childhood, and so she hovered on the edge of maturity, afraid to take control of her own life ... content for the moment to let others do it for her. Except for her uncle Edward, who seemed to have appointed himself her babysitter. He was one person whom she wished would not think of her a a child, although she wasn't quite sure why.

Nor was she certain about what her cousin meant by withholding her affections from the gentlemen who pursued her. To her, Anne's method seemed like a recipe for loneliness, and if she did not know her cousin better, she would almost believe she was playing a joke on her. Yet Catherine had noticed … on every occasion that she had been in Anne's company … the way most men gazed at the beautiful raven-haired woman, as if they would do anything for her if only she would give them the time of day. No one ever looked at Catherine that way, and now she wondered if that would change if she followed Anne's advice.

Her attention turned to the pastry that her cousin pointed out to her, and once again she tilted her head to the side, a baffled look upon her pretty face. Why she could she not have it? Even though she was not hungry and not even spared a glance for any of the delicacies one the table before now, she found herself wanting to pluck it from the plate it sat on and pop it in her mouth. Only that one, and not any of the others which looked equally delicious. So why could she not …?


Finally comprehension dawned across Catherine's delicate features. If she didn't keep giving in to any request a man made of her, then they would want her even more. And they would keep pursuing her and trying to win her favor, and probably even give her more gifts. So was this Anne's secret … the reason that men always looked at her as if they wanted to eat her up? Catherine felt very privileged to be privy to such confidences from the woman she so greatly admired.

“Yes,” she said slowly, “I think I do understand.” Her blue eyes sparkled as she smiled up at her cousin. “I will try it. I will behave better, I promise. But what is a chaste kiss?” Impulsively, she leaned forward and gave Anne a sisterly kiss on the cheek. “Like this?”
Anne Boleyn
Posted: Feb 2 2012, 10:50 AM


Catherine often reminded Anne of a puppy in her fits of excitement. Anne could not blame her -- Everything seemed exciting when one was young with the world thrown open before them. After all, Catherine was still young and could make a good match and have many years left to bear her husband sons. Anne, though only a few years older than her cousin, would be running out of time in a few short years. It added a degree of jaded outlook on life, knowing that you only had so much time as a woman to make yourself useful before you were were decidedly not so. Even with these thoughts floating in her head, Anne gave her cousin a smile and could find joy in her words and her dreams. "How could anyone not desire us, sweet Catherine?" Anne asked with a shake of her hair, her face turned towards the heavens. "Howard blood flows in both of our veins, and we are graced by more than just beauty." Proud words, yes, but if nothing else, Anne was a very proud creature.

And Catherine proved this as her features lit up with understanding as to the point that Anne was trying to make. Pride in her cousin made Anne's already proud bosom swell, and she laughed a little, nodding at the blond angel before her. "It is a very simple thing to compare us to, but fitting no?" Anne's eyes raked across the room once more and those within it. "Men desire to subdue women, and there is no fun in it if not challenging. What pride is there in an easy conquest? Very little, I believe." She looked back to her cousin as she vowed to do better, and her smile grew. "I believe you will exceed 'better,' sweet Catherine. How could you not?"

The gentle kiss that Catherine gave Anne made the woman laugh again, and she nodded at the end. "That is chaste enough. I could even dare to say that a tight-lipped kiss could be appropriate -- But only if a man has proved himself to you spectacularly. But," The raven-haired woman held up a single finger. "Nothing more. Nothing more unless there is a ring upon your finger -- For it is then that you have the advantage. It is then that you have won." As long as sons follow in short order... Anne continued to herself.

"And remember that you are never indebted to a man to give him affection, no matter what gifts he grants you. Any man who pushes where he is not wanted is a scoundrel, and you should not hesitate to inform the world of it!" If Catherine had been so free before, this new found chastity might incense her previous admirers to anger. Catherine had to be strong against them, and if they dared to do anything, they would pay dearly for it. But Anne smiled and patted her cousin on the hand. "I am so proud of you, Catherine. The entirety of Hampton Court should be obliged to eb taken by storm courtesy of you!"
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