But what I do have is inspirations to the physical traits of these characters.
One of which I have to direct you to pinterest because even though I'm not allowed to download, alter or pass-on the incredible artwork that was the actual inspiration for Chartan LeBeau, I can pin it pinterest. Go figure.
So if you're looking for that visual it's here:
Definitely take a look. It's worth it. The art is first class.
She looks like she's ready to tell you a secrete and has many to keep. That, in essence is Lady Dauphine. You'd never guess her to be a refugee.
The model, I believe, is Barbara Mori. She's a gorgeous actress that has starred in Hispanic films. Thought I'd mention that in case you were wondering.
I think she makes a fine Lady Dauphine and so I've kept her as such in my pinterest board.
For those who've just joined us, you can find Chapter 1 of the King's Thief by clicking the button below.
The King's Thief
I stopped my thought before it formed shape and started anew. I, Dauphine, was guild master of the courtesans. That’s why I needed to go back to Xaxyia.
A young man—impressionably young—bounded down the stairway. His spiffed out knackers, shirt and coat hung on him as a newly found skin. He’d seen battle yet knew not the charms of a woman. His smile genuine, but his step slipped at the last wrung of stairs. Catching himself by my arm his eyes flew open at righting himself and the poor child went on one knee.
“M’Lady, forgive me.” His breathless wonder put a smile on my face.
“What is your name slippery one?”
His cheeks turned abashed. This one would be my chess piece soon. “Gustave. M’Lady have I hurt you?”
Making him rise to his feet I tittered. “Women aren’t paper Mache, my dear boy, we can handle a bit of crushing.”
Gustave turned an interesting shade of purple. “I wanted to show you your quarters M’Lady.”
Mr. Embarrassment-and-nerves offered me an arm and I made sure to brush my—assets—down his offered limb as we walked down the narrow hallway.
He swallowed, several times before turning and opening a door for me to step inside.
It was the first mate’s cabin. Whoever decorated poured love and effort to make me feel like…a queen. I could not be angry with Gustave. Chartan was to blame, pure and simple, for any misgivings put in their heads.
I forced a smile. “Thank you. It’s lovely.” And it was.
Red linen falling from the ceiling mimicked my quarters in Xaxyia. A rope mattress bed covered with a duck down comforter sat under a sprawl of the linen. A gorgeous wood table complete with metal fastened ink bottle sat on the other side. Gustave opened a tall, mirrored chest door. Four of my most valuable gowns hung inside. I imagined squeezing Chartan’s neck. He’d even stolen my clothes for the ride. Complete with shoes and all my toiletries no less.
Gustave’s face fell. “Do you not like it?”
“It’s wonderful, dear one, but I cannot take your room.”
Piercing blue eyes looking into mine. His soul came up to the fore front seemingly so that I could physically touch it. “Yes, M’Lady. It’s your room. You can and you will take it.”
Another male trying to force his will upon me. The boat must be full of them. But Gustave was so incredibly sweet, his eyes full of a need to please, I could not refuse.
“Then I shall but on one condition.”
“Anything M’Lady.” The boy jostled from foot-to-foot.
“You…” I smiled with a seductive pause. “…taking me on a tour of this fine vessel.”
He smiled in relief. He hadn’t realized how dangerous my proposition of meeting Chartan’s men could be.
Gustave knew every part of the ship as if he’d been on it for years. The boy chatted about every rope and pole. Each had a story. But he was still clumsy with the stairs as if he’d just learned to wear shoes. We were having a good gossip about the Rogues Gambit until Chartan ruined it all.
“Roy! Dean! What did I warn you?” Chartan yelled from the cabin stairs.
Roy, the blond with more muscles a man had any right to develop, grabbed his shirt from the side and shoved it back on.
“Oh poot.” I whispered.
“What now?” Dean yelled back.
Chartan grabbed a shirt from the ropes and tossed it over to Dean. “We have polite company, dress like it.”
Dean winked at me. “Oh, she doesn’t care.”
I blew a kiss to Dean, the soldier who missed his wife but refused to break his monogamy. He turned red from his face down to his chest. When speaking to them, I’d realized these men weren’t solitary sailors. They were Chartan’s handpicked loyalists. Some single, like Gustave, but good honest men. Chartan thought them safe from my charms.
“All the same.” Chartan glared at me from the deck. “Keep yourself respectable.”
I smiled innocence. “I’ll do my best.”
That got a chuckle from the men.
Chartan kept himself in control, I’ll give him that. If he was still angry I couldn’t tell. Infuriating when a man can hide so well under his mask you can’t please him. My stomach quaked and my hands could not to ease their desire to touch him. I didn’t stop them, and when Chartan approached, my fingers slipped under his coat. While in his arms I memorized the smell of gentleman musk, soap and salt that created Chartan de perfume.
“I was never able to thank you that night you saved Detrien.”
Chartan lifted an eyebrow. “But you’re not thanking me for saving you.”
My anger bloomed immediate. “It should have been Uncle you sequestered away.” I kept my voice low and stepped aside before the man undermined all control.
“He would not have it.” Chartan whispered.
I baulked, my fury smoldering. Gritting my teeth I could not remain silent, though I spoke low enough so only Chartan could hear. “Since when did The Four ever do as the king asked.” And there it was. A secret I’d kept hidden from the world even beyond my king’s death.
“The Four?” Chartan pretended ignorance.
“Oh don’t bother. The king’s secret advisor's—The Four—warrior, sorcerer, priest and rogue.” I spat the words under my breath. “None of you got along but Uncle would have listened if you’d advised him to leave. Then it would be him here instead of me.”
Chartan stepped behind me and wrapped an arm around my waist. His lips touched my ear. “And you have known about The Four for how long?”
My laughter mingled with tears. “Since I was seventeen.”
I could feel his smile. “I would have killed any with the knowledge at the time. Can you not see what a powerful queen you’d make?”
“Espionage does not make a queen.”
Chartan rubbed his nose in my hair. “You are perfect.”
“True. But perfect doesn’t make a queen either.”
Chartan threw his head back and laughed.
There wasn’t a pair of eyes that didn’t turn in wide-eyed disbelief at the sound. Dean especially stood shocked. Then all eyes roamed over me. Chartan didn’t laugh much—or maybe not at all. Flutters of excitement rose in my stomach.
Chartan looked to Gustave. “Has she tried seducing you, yet?”
“Yes.” The boy smiled with the devil’s mischief. “Seven times so far.”
Guiles pup. I’d successfully seduced him the first time. He was already mine and didn’t know it.
A deep rumble vibrated along my back. Chartan’s laughter called fish to air. He tightened his hold, draping himself over me, intoxicating me with his scent. Effectively telling all the men to stay back. But I knew his game. Claiming me—or pretending to—so that the others wouldn’t be tempted by my certain persuasions. But he was too late. My plan was already in place.