The sad lament of a Courtier could be heard someplace deep inside the castle’s thick walls, as Giulia Farnese sat on a chair by the fire with a small weaving loom she had made especially for her. Most people didn’t weave themselves anymore. That was what weavers were for, but Giulia still enjoyed the craft. She never made anything very big. Just small woven belts or a reticule now and then. Sometimes a hanging. Nothing major. It was just something for her to do when there was nothing else to do and on this day particular there was nothing to do.
No one had bothered to visit her with the expectation of the Courtier whom she was she was certain was lamenting over her. Was it her fault that she was mistress to a Pope and could not afford to be seen with anyone other than the Pope or her husband? No, twas not. She had to be very discreet and while she enjoyed spending time with Bartolo. Oh yes, she enjoyed spending time with him very much, she could not risk being seen. What if rumors started and those rumors reached Rodrigo’s ears? No, she would never allow that to happen. So she had sent poor Bartolo on his way. Besides, he was really Tessa’s lover and she would not deprive her maid of a true love.
She plucked gently at the yarn she had attached to her loom and leaned back to rub her sore eyes. The light was so poor when the sun went down and doing any kind of craft work was hard. No wonder why most of the night was spent idling away at parties thrown by the Pope or other important people.
Giulia placed the loom on the floor and picked up her small little dog, she kept nearby for company. The dog licked her face, making her giggle.
“Now then, we must look beautiful for dinner tonight, just in case Rodrigo shows up. And if you are good, I will bring you some scraps of meat back. Would you like that?” She asked the little white dog who yipped and tugged on her dress as she put him down.
“I have your new gown for you.” Tessa said suddenly walking into Giulia’s chambers with a elegantly made blue silk. Giulia smile and gently ran her hand down the silk.
“Oh it’s so beautiful.” She said. “Here, help me into it.” Tessa, gently turned her mistress around and undid her dress to put her into the new one.
“Did Bartolo treat you well last night?” She asked now tying Giulia’s hair up into a beautiful twist of braids and ribbons. Giulia smiled.
“He did. But really, Tessa, he must know that I cannot be seen with him all the time, or at all for that matter.”
“He knows My Lady. He was just taken with you. But then, why shouldn’t he be?” Tessa asked smiling sweetly at her mistress. “Especially if the Pope is.” Giulia laughed.
“Really Tessa, you are too kind. How do I look?” Giulia asked standing up, and smoothing down the new gown.
“Like a Queen.”
“Spend a little time with that boy tonight. Make him forget me. Here take these.” Giulia said handing Tessa a few coins. “Get him out of the castle for a little while and have fun.”
“Oh yes ma’am. Thank you Giulia.” Tessa said smiling at her as they both made their way down to the dining hall.