Frederique’s gaze slid past the queen as he knelt. His heart lightened when he recognized one of the queen’s maidens. “Elisabeth.” The name slipped past his lips in a soundless whisper. Shock reverberated through his body as she drifted into court a few steps behind her majesty.
His attention wandered to the other women in the royal procession and his heart nearly stopped when he saw the last woman in line. Dressed in silver, her hair was swept up into a loose pile of curls atop her head. Powdered to perfection, it had a pale glow to it. Her clear, stunning blue eyes swept the room with curiosity and a touch of anger. Artfully applied cosmetics highlighted her high cheekbones and small nose. Her red lips were tilted in a smile that did not reach her eyes. A small black mole decorated her upper lip in the fashion of the times. A fan hung from her hand, and the ruffles along the edges of her skirts fluttered like butterfly wings with each step. Her breasts seemed near to bursting out of the lace of her bodice. Ribbons and bows cascaded over the gown in simple splendor compared to the queen’s lavish bejeweled gown.
His body tightened as she bowed before the king and her full breasts pushed against the confines of her bodice. The king’s expression bore no hint of lust. Indeed, the king barely acknowledged her before turning to assist his wife into her seat. With the queen settled next to him, he motioned to the fair haired beauty standing a few steps beyond the dais.