44 –Slippery

John Stanley – 22nd September 1355

As summer continued to slip away the tower room became chilly at night.

The incredible Maurice produced some feather filled duvets but cowering between the covers did not appeal to either of them. The bishops had now left, scurrying back to the warmth of Albi.

Ximene was the first one to grumble. ‘I really don’t like the cold. Do you think we should move back to the cellar? It is almost too cold for me to excercise.’

Next day she moved her exercise period to the time when the tower room had been warmed by the sun. Without fail, after exercise she performed her massage routine. She loved the feel of the oil on her skin and she knew John enjoyed watching her.

Laying back in bed, he found the inspiration from the rose hip oil and the end of summer.


“For sure the temperature will fall tonight.
My dearest love, I must hold you tight,
Allow me to hold you in my arms,
I’ll give you warmth whilst I succumb to your charms.
It’s your eyes initially that held me enthralled,
Now they shine bright with blue and with gold
What a discovery, oil from rose hips.
That silkens your skin and brings a shine to your lips
It gleams on your body and your long long legs
Please, please answer for me the question it begs.
Do you apply the oil with great diligence?
To condition you skin or for its sweet fragrance.
Or perhaps your display is for me to attract
As if my attention is something you lacked
Whatever the reason it brings me much pleasure
To gaze on your body as I lie here at leisure
But now I feel love and dare I say passion
With you in full view this is difficult to ration
So now I must ask you, don’t think me too bold,
To join me in bed and get out of the cold.

‘Very nice John’, Ximene answered with a smile. ‘You do keep reminding me how much you care for me. Please never stop, I do appreciate it and now there is a beat, it is tetrameter, did you do that deliberately?

Not really but I have been trying hard to read the poetry you have shown to me perhaps some of it has rubbed off. That is what you wanted isn’t it?’

The devilish glint came to her eye. ‘Well yes, I suppose it was…But I will tell you what I want, what I really really want. I want us to change places. I want to lie on the bed whilst you apply oil to every part of your body’

John was astonished. ‘I had no idea that you would like to watch me in the same way I like to watch you.’

Ximene laughed. ‘Well I would and I will.’

She jumped onto the bed and pushed him out. He crossed to the window looking thoughtful. He started to rub in the oil as if it was liniment prescribed by a physician for some muscular ailment.

For a while Ximene rolled around laughing but then sat up struggling to keep a straight face. ‘No John, we are not preparing for some athletic feat. You are trying to seduce me by showing off your body to its best advantage. Try to relax. Apply the oil slowly. Use your hands to emphasis every muscle.’She smiled in encouragement.

John was a good learner. Within five minutes he was comfortable with what he was doing and even began to strike poses, which showed off his body to its best advantage. He found that the exercise was strangely relaxing even though he was massaging himself. At the same time the continuing use of one muscle against another to strike poses was in itself hard work. Nevertheless the bulking and rebulking made muscles seem, even to his own eyes, larger and of a better profile than they had ever been.

Ximene forced her eyes wide open. ‘From what I have seen, you like to watch me undress, exercise or oil my body because it gives you pleasure. I have come to believe it is an essential part of the lovemaking process. What I have just experienced is something a little different. It was special because I was close to a source of raw energy. I could see and feel the latent power. It was very, very exiting but somehow different from lovemaking. However, already I want to see you do it again.’

John grinned ‘Where is your makeup.?’

Ximene frowned.’In the black bag on the table.Why’

John drierd himself with a rough towel and then using the skin coloured make outined the underside of all his upper body and upper arm muscles.
‘I saw the Earl made up like this at Clermont, it made his body look huge.’ John bulked his muscles again. Ximene chuckled you are right it makes you look much bigger.

John picked up the bottle holding the blue make up and stared to draw compex swirls which interacted with each other to make a complex pattern over his shoulders, chest, and upper arms. Using the mirror he extended the pattern over his neck and both cheeks.

He raised his eyebrows and again flexed his muscles. ‘Do you like it.’

Ximene moved to the end of the bed and reached out and touched his thigh. She shuddered, not just once but twice, in quick succession. ‘John this is wonderful. You have become a barbarian.’
John leaned forward supporting the whole of his weight on his arms on the end of the bed. ‘Not quite but close, a Celtic warrior.’
‘I will stick with barbarian, in my mind they are more brutal, more to be feared.’

Ximene grasped his hand and pulled him towards her. It was the first time they had embraced when both their bodies were wet,slippery with oil.

So…I am a barbarian. do you want me to overpower you? Tie you up again?

‘Not quite, lie on the bed, I am about to overpower a barbarian, I am going to tie you to the bed. You will be totally in my power.

John purred. ‘Absolutely Divine.’

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History


Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.