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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Of Pride and Power - 3. Chapter 3: “Court attention at all costs”

Five days passed since I was reborn. In those five days, I learned several things about the world and myself. From a personal standpoint, I realized that I was gaining sudden insights and memories constantly from my previous world. While I had a decent memory in my prior life, I wouldn’t say I had this kind of instant recall ability. That was probably another piece of my new magical abilities that I discovered with Lord Ashley’s translation lessons. Language translation and memory recall were good abilities to have, but I wasn’t sure how practical they could be. I might recall how airplanes worked due to lift generated against their wing from remembering various things in my past life, but I don’t recall the machine parts for an internal combustion engine that would generate the power for it. If I wanted to build military forces like those possessed by others from my world, I was hopelessly outmatched. Hopefully, I’ll gain more useful skills soon, like telekinesis or mind control powers. I can have a few practical and pleasurable uses for those.

As for life in general, there was a routine for the first two days. I woke up, asked for breakfast from Robert or whichever servant was present, and began to read a few books. Around noon, Queen Dowager would ask me to walk with her around the garden. We were usually joined by other noble ladies, but only two people stood beside her, me and a young girl named Jane, who was around twelve and lived in the residence. I knew this girl was the infamous Lady Jane Grey. Jane seemed like a nice girl; though, she seemed a bit shy at times.

Queen Dowager identified various flowers, herbs, and vegetables that were grown. On a whim upon smelling some flowers, she had her groundskeeper clip their petals. The smell of these flowers was extremely potent, so I could guess she was making perfume. While I did enjoy floral fragrances, most modern perfumes, and colognes tended to be too sharp for my liking, so I never grew an interest in the use. However, as I discovered over my days in this medieval world, everything had a foul odor due to various issues from poor sanitary environment to heavy body odor. The perfume was a necessity in everyday life until I could get people to start bathing regularly and maintaining sanitary practices.

Queen Dowager and I would sit at the edge of the gardens to dine on bread, berries, and cheese for afternoon tea. We were greeted by the sight of a wide-open field, where young men were having mock battle drills. Some wore full armor and held blunt metal swords, some were shirtless and held wooden spears. It was like watching the boys having physical education classes on the field. I wanted to join them, but I was told it was not “my place” in the world. I figured that I was being treated like a girl by Queen Dowager, since all the boys and men were out on the open field, while the girls and women were either in the house or doing various things to maintain the home. While I did enjoy the garden and tea time, I also wanted to bash some heads with a stick. I never liked the idea of gender roles.

Lady Jane pointed to one of Robert’s younger brothers, Guilford, who was maybe twelve or so acting as one of his older brother’s page. The way she spoke of him made me think that she had a preteen crush on him. I recall his name and the fate of their love story, causing an unconscious tear to fall from my eye. I shouldn’t feel this way about random strangers, with whom I had no real connection, but their fate was very cruel and unwarranted.

Trying to look for someone else to focus on, I noticed Robert on the grounds of the field. He was wearing only rough leather armor covering his chest and leather shorts that covered his privates. He wielded a wooden sword. My memory recall ability told me that he was the fifth son of a noble family, meaning he was not meant to inherit much from his family, hence he wasn’t wearing full armor. He was sent here as a page or retainer in training for his father’s ally. However, seeing his mock battlefield actions, I could tell Robert was not cut out for being in any military. His mentality was completely wrong for combat. He tried to fight against opponents in full armor, only getting beaten up badly as a result. A part of me wondered if he was trying to show off for me, which caused a stir in my dick at his stupidity and his desire to please me. That reminded me of Jack’s dorky side. Sighing at the sight of these hapless brothers, these Dudley boys were never fated to be victors on the battlefield of war or love. As the afternoon began to cool, the Queen Dowager would end our daily routine in the gardens.

With our walkabout complete, I would return to my room to continue reading until dinner, which was composed of bread, meat, and boiled vegetables with little to no flavor. Then, I went to bed. Luckily, Thomas Seymore was away at the time, so I did not have to be awkward around the creep. At night, I kept my doors barricaded just in case of a visitation. It was a small mercy that my consciousness arrived in this body after the sexual assaults, so I did not recall what he did. The idea of being violated by someone was a fear that I truly wish no one lived through. There was no gray area in any of this, it was rape even if all he did was strip me naked and touched my various private parts without consent.

The thoughts of me being naked and fondled transferred to memories of me with Jack, how the consensual caresses of our bodies felt, the oral and anal sex we enjoyed, and the soul-consuming orgasms that followed.

By the second night, it became apparent with an unending hard-on that I was still a teenager with needs. I could masturbate, but I didn’t want to do that alone without Jack as it had been my custom. In the spur of the moment, I decided to ask Robert for help as I needed to see that familiar face.

On the third day, I asked for warm water, soap, and a piece of cloth for bathing. I did not want a full bathtub as that would take a lot of effort and time, which was reserved for special occasions, like a visit to the royal court which was coming up. Essentially, this was equivalent to taking a shower.

As a result, I commanded Robert to fetch it for me. I could hear his voice squeak with my request. I can only imagine how many naughty thoughts he might have had. If he had been around Eli as long as Jack had been around me, by the time we were fifteen without sexual release, he would have been building a massive case of blue balls. That doesn’t mean I’ll let him fuck me or I’ll fuck him, we were nowhere near that kind of intimacy, but we can eye fuck each other for some release at least that’s how my mind worked it out. I had no sense of modesty and if Robert was going to follow me, he was going to get used to it.

At the thought of what would happen next, I recalled the moniker “Virgin Queen,” which made me shudder to picture myself in a thrilly dress with a panoramic camera and some classical music in the background. I am not going to be some virtuous idol; that concept is worth less to me than a penny you might find on the ground. Modesty is an imagined concept created by moral authorities, who wanted to curb human interactions. The concept of modesty was not limited to Christians either, many religions want to chain your behavior to tenets, commandments, or paths. Why should my behavior or others be dictated by what some ancient person wanted the world to behave under their standards? If only religions can dictate behavior, then every person should make a religion and declare themselves free to be themselves.

Thus, when Robert re-entered the room with warm water, a sliver of soap, and a piece of cloth, I did not hesitate to get naked in front of him. He closed his eyes as I was pushing my underwear down.

Smiling at his discomfort, I ordered him, “Open your eyes, I am human just like you.”

With his eyes still closed, he mumbled his reply, “You…you…are…not like me.”

Knowing what he meant, I stood in front of him and grabbed his hands. One of his hands was moved to the base of my hard dick and the other was moved to one of my round breasts. I was always a blunt person about my body, it’s mine and I don’t feel shame about it. Jack had the same fearful expression when I asked him to touch me when we were twelve. I might have a vagina now as well, but the principle is still the same. If Robert did care about Eli as he had implied, then his fear should pass momentarily.

As I thought, his eyes opened wide with acceptance and I released my hold on his hands. He was frozen in place, unwilling to explore more, and unwilling to remove his hands from my sensitive areas. Someone being different from you isn’t wrong, but fear can create bitterness and hate. While I am fine to live by Machiavelli’s concept of being feared for the sake of my new life, if I want a friend and ally in my life, let alone a lover, I can’t just live in fear alone. I can tell by the tent in his trousers that he was getting turned on by what he saw.

I asked him, “Now, I want you to take off your clothes and watch me. I want you to follow my actions.”

He stripped without hesitation, showing me his erection and beautiful body. He wasn’t as skinny as Jack; I saw some muscle definition coming into formation. Jack was a geek, who preferred spending time behind various books, online, or at at the debate teams rather than playing team sports or doing strenuous exercise unless it was to keep me company. Robert in comparison was a boy of this time, I knew from watching him during my afternoon walks in the garden that he practiced with a heavy wooden sword with other boys in the field, so his body reflected his physical activity. There were a few scars and bruises that ranged from ancient black to recent red, which were likely from his training sessions. They were blemishes that reminded me, who he was and was not, but upon seeing his dick, I was transfixed at how identical it looked. Jack’s dick being hard sent signals to mine to reciprocate, something that we learned to do for one another over years of practice, so my arousal grew upon seeing it like a Pavlovian response.

I grabbed my dick with one hand and he followed suit. I had originally thought of helping him jerk off in front of me and dispel the sexual tension between us, but I had not considered that I would be aroused to this level. I began motioning up and down while staring at him doing the same motion. Trying to shift my gaze up to reduce my arousal, I stared straight at his face as he did the same, his eyes were communicating to me.

“It’s fine to do this with me, I want it just as much as you.”

He was looking at me and I was looking at him. Pleasure shot through our faces at the familiar sight before us and it did not take long before we both shot our loads into our hands.

Having an orgasm for the first time in this body felt liberating, despite this being a tame orgasm. Heterosexual men would just shrug it off as male bonding with the enjoyment of a penis, but gay and bisexual men would see it as sex. I didn’t like putting labels on what Jack and I did or had as a relationship; though, I knew people considered us fags. Boys were attractive to me and some girls too, but Jack’s dick was the thing I wanted most. Of course, none of that mattered as we both wanted pleasure, we both wanted the other to be happy, too. However, I wasn’t in the modern world, I knew what we did was probably a big deal for Robert.

Considering how best to handle this situation, I defaulted to what worked best before and ordered him, “Wash both of us before the water cools.”

He did as he was told, taking care of my body first without hesitation. He did pause upon discovering my vagina, but he continued nonetheless. Instinctively, I gave him a pat on the head for accepting that new part of me. I smelled the scent of flowers from the water, so I assumed that he added some perfume to the water for me. After I was thoroughly cleansed, he took the soiled cloth and began to clean his body in haste. The water had become discolored from my wash and the scent of flowers had died down significantly. Maybe, it was non-hygienic to ask him to wash off after I used the bucket of warm water. The lack of running water in this era was a terrible problem that needed to be remedied.

After he was done with cleansing himself, he smiled, “Thank you for letting me serve you. I shall cherish this memory forever.”

I nodded, not knowing how to reply to that comment as too many emotions were flying through my brain. There were even parts of me wanting to ask him If he wanted to cuddle in bed for a few hours, like what Jack and I used to do after an orgasm. I needed to remind myself, that he was not Jack.

We placed on our day clothes, and then he walked out of the room first, followed by me a few minutes later. He returned with my breakfast after an hour or so.

The days continued like that with the same routine, a morning orgasm with Robert, followed by breakfast, then a walk in the gardens around noon with tea time and dinner at night. On the evening of the fourth day, things changed abruptly as Thomas Seymore returned with several men in tow, including someone I heard being addressed as “Lord Protector,” who I knew was his brother Edward. Lord Ashley would summon me to court soon, but I doubted I could avoid Thomas easily in his own home. Edward’s arrival was a perfect cover for the intervening period. I had to focus attention on myself to avoid being Thomas’ plaything, but I wasn’t Elizabeth, who could use female seduction and charms on men like Edward Seymore. Besides, if I openly courted attention toward Edward, I would raise the anger of Thomas and Queen Dowager, who did not like this man.

Luckily, my memory recall had opened an avenue that would likely bear a lot of future fruit. Among the key servants of Edward Seymore was William Cecil, Elizabeth’s future chief minister and one of the greatest statesmen in British history. He was working as the master of requests for Edward at this time, so he would be part of his group. My aim of gaining attention won’t be directed towards Edward, it would be towards William Cecil. Based on what I knew of him through the books, documentaries, and movie adaptations, he was a serious man above social norms and conventions. His sole focus was on the continuation of the English nation and its people. Otto von Bismark may have been the model for the term Realpolitik, but Cecil should have been the true founder of this philosophy.

To persuade this man, a few spoken words were not going to be enough, I needed to do something far more impressive. In modern times, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter condense discourse down to a few lines of text or meme images, but in the past, longer-form writing like essays with wide-ranging concepts can be more impactful. I spent much of the day writing an essay. I told Robert to inform everyone that I needed some rest due to a chill. I skipped breakfast, which I was supposed to attend publicly with guests in the residence, and the garden walk. Robert was worried about me and came by in the afternoon after his field training session, covered in dirt and sweat. I wanted to tell him I was fine, but I needed to focus on this essay, which was likely going to determine a lot of things to come. He waited in the room for me to pay attention to him, which could have been an hour.

I folded the ten-page double-sided essay and went over to Robert, “I need you to give this to William Cecil, he’s the Lord Protector’s Master of Request. Tell him, Lord Eli wishes to request the kingdom’s future.”

Robert stared at my essay without taking it in hand, “Are you trying to entreat yourself to the Lord Protector’s care? I could protect you as well, we can run off to the wilderness where no one will ever see us. I can provide for you.”

It was cute that this boy wanted to be my protector, further blurring the line between Jack and him. If it were less pressing, I might order him to give me his sweaty leather armor and shorts, so we can go through a round of roleplay.

However, I needed this essay delivered, “Robert, I need you to do this and I am not sending this to the Lord Protector, just his man, William Cecil. It is not a declaration of love or promise of allegiance, I want to demonstrate something to a man I know could assist me.”

Robert stared into my eyes, asking clearly, “What can he assist you with?”

I spoke to him honestly, “He can assist me in running the country.”

I knew Cecil would be enthralled by the ideas and policy directions I offered in the essay. Starting with creating road networks, canals, and shipping lanes to foreign policy concepts like assisting French Huguenots in claiming the throne of France to open a second front against the Spanish and the Catholic Church. Some of these policies would be conceived by him in later decades, so it was natural that they would appeal to him. Those details alone were not enough to sway him completely to me as they were his ideas, I further detailed my long-term plans on creating what I envisioned as the “Novum Imperium Britannia” with a common market that allowed free exchange of services and goods across the nation, modern military that was built with trained volunteers and a core group of professional officers, and meritocratic government chosen through ability. At the heart of my long-term plan is freedom, the ability for individuals to be and choose what they want for the betterment of themselves and others. However, the Freedom I believe in cannot merely be a principle applied for exclusive things, like counterproductive concepts such as Religious Freedom, where you can believe in a set of principles that denies others freedom to actions. Freedom must be able to exist without bias and for the common good rather than any segment of the population that behaves or believes as the proponents of certain rules. You can be selfish, but you cannot apply your selfish desires to others.

Robert took my essay and left the room, but it took less than an hour for him to return with a young twink, who looked nothing like the older statesman that film and documentaries portrayed. Robert was still in his leather armor and pants with his hand firmly holding his wooden sword in warning. However, none of that was necessary.

I could tell that William Cecil was not just a pretty face when he knelt on the ground and addressed me, “Prince Eli, I shall endeavor to assist you in our common goals.”

While most of the world treated me as something feminine or not worthy of being addressed in line with royalty, William Cecil had submitted to me as a prince. While I did not like the connotation that masculine nouns meant authority, this title had real meaning. It was a high honor in the medieval world to be called a prince, something not given to standard nobles. One should be practical with the use of language, beyond gender, there’s the status behind the definition and intention of the giver. William Cecil had not merely praised me; he implicitly accepted me as his ruler. He will do everything in his power from this day forward to make what I had written down a reality. I had found another ally, who shared my worldviews.

Some thoughts on the chapter:
Copyright © 2023 W_L; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Story Discussion Topic

Just a place for readers to ask questions, ponder alt-history in this universe, and have fun. Not sure if I have a lot of readers in this alt-history 16th-century English setting novel or not, but I thought I'd open it up for discussions. Eli is not Elizabeth I, nor a true male heir, but it plays out with interesting what-ifs based on history. An intersex/non-binary standpoint is something new for me to write, so I appreciate it if any NBs want to point out things to me for improvement. I'v
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The crux of the issue is what time do they have to catch-up to the foul actors on the continent, a stone's throw so to speak, from the bad actors???

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3 hours ago, drsawzall said:

The crux of the issue is what time do they have to catch-up to the foul actors on the continent, a stone's throw so to speak, from the bad actors???

Very true in both this story and actual history. The Protestant-Catholic wars of the 16th century were a major tug-of-war, during the mid-16th century when counter-reformation began to coalesce it was far less clear that Protestants states could actually survive, especially against a unified Catholic coalition.

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