It was time for him to take his crown, and his place on the world stage.
She shook her head, suspecting her pregnancy was the cause, but not wishing to reveal her current state to Louis. The pain it would cause him to know was more than she wished to see him suffer through. “It is as natural as it can be,” Reinette said, not lying, but not revealing the full extent. “I am being cared for and looked after, however.”
Louis was not one to miss cues from Reinette after all of the time and closeness they had shared, and he knew she was always careful with the words she chose, but now they were just friends, and she was no longer his in the same way she once had been, and while, as the King of France, he could have made a demand of her, this was Reinette, and he could not bring himself to do such a thing at this moment. “I am very pleased to hear that. I know it should be impossible for me to be at ease unless I know you are receiving the best care possible.”
She sniffled, a few of the ministers muttering angrily behind Louis. Once again, she had ensnared the King. However, what they failed to realize was that her reaction was genuine. Only the King’s love made her happy. There were the fripperies and fineries, but in truth, she was content in her position as his mistress. “Can you not take a moment to spend with poor Jeanne?” She asked him, almost whimpering.
Louis found it nearly impossible to do anything other than bend to her every whim at the moment, but he knew the time for being entirely heartfelt had to be delayed slightly, because they were in front of his ministers. He had to keep reminding himself of that. “I would very much like to spend many moments with Jeanne,” he murmured, stroking the back of her hand gently with his thumb. Raising his eyebrows, he looked at her patiently, “would you like to take a seat while I make the last remarks so I may end my meeting?”
Sorry I wasn’t here the other day, but this week and the beginning of next week are super busy for me! I’ll try to be around a bit more.
Infanta Mariana Victoria of Spain, the first fiancee of Louis XV.
She looked up at him, her eyes filled with tears once more, now at his cold, impassive tone. “Do you wish me to leave your presence?” She asked, her voice breaking with emotion. Her lip trembled, a tear streamed down her cheek, she was the very picture of misery and sorrow.
The sadness that filled her eyes, even before the tears, led Louis’ heart to sink. He could not bear such a sight, and he gave her hand a squeeze once more, brushing her face try as well as he could at the moment. “I wish for you to be at peace, and for there not to be a negative reason for you to visit me.” He so wished to cheer her up somehow.
She was grateful for a more private moment with the King, though she knew they could never walk as they once did. Arm and arm, her head resting on his shoulder, pausing to kiss beneath the branches. That time passed long ago. “I am well,” Reinette said with a small sigh, pausing to pick a rose from a nearby bush.
“I have suffered a few dark spells in the last week.” He was well acquainted to those moods, though she had always tried to hide them. “However, I am better than I was.”
He found it hard to focus entirely on the gardens as they walked, her presence beside him, from just her appearance to her scent and her voice, something so comfortable yet in a way he knew he could not take for granted, that he wanted to treasure every moment of it.
A slight frown formed on his features, “I am sorry to hear it, though I am pleased you are recovering. Did something bring them on, or was it a naturally occurrence?” He didn’t like the thought of her continuing to have dark spells, though he knew they could not be helped.
“D’accord.” Jeanne said, knowing better than to challenge him. She dropped her gaze in submission, trembling slightly at the thought of displeasing him. Though a part of her bristled at a particular part of his comments. ‘Reinette.’ He still called Poisson by the endearment her family had given her.
He nodded in assent at her agreement, not at all pleased at the moment, but just glad the scene had not continued in front of his ministers. Jeanne was looking at the floor, and he did not want to anger her, but he was now slightly miffed. “May I help you with anything else at the moment?” Louis asked in a neutral tone, which was not aggressive in the least, but also not the affection he had used earlier.
Reinette shrugged her delicate shoulders, “Nothing in particular, I merely wished to visit you. It has been so long since last we spoke and I desired to see you with my own eyes.” She said to him, leading him into the familiar walk around the orange grove, the courtiers watching them with open disdain for the common mistress.
“How are you, mon cher?” She asked him, glancing over at him shyly.
As they walked, he paid no attention those who surrounded them, pleased to be with Reinette once more, and simply hoping she felt the same, and not in the way that she said so, but deep down.
"I am well, merci. The sun is shining and the court is lively once more and you have come to visit." He looked away from the trees to smile at her for a moment. "Et toi?" he asked her informally, no one being able to hear their quiet conversation.
Jeanne looked up, foolishly stating, “If Poisson asked you to remove him, you would.” She said, unable to restrain her impudent tongue. While she could be a kind woman, Jeanne was ultimately vain and short sighted. She did not have the same perception for reading the King, or releasing a topic if it occupied her attention. So she was unable to recognize the mistake in her choice of comment.
Louis was well aware that Jeanne had a habit of speaking out of turn, though he was not expecting the comment she made. Attempting to keep himself composed in front of his ministers, he simply kept her hand in his, though his tone was lower now, “Reinette would ask no such thing of me because she no longer lives here.” It was not something he liked to remind himself of. “Et n’importe quoi, it is my decision that is final, not hers or yours or anyone else’s. D’accord?”