“You can’t banish me! This is my bed too!”
The Constable rolled over to face away from Orléans. “Not when you have a cold it’s not,” he muttered. He knew that Orléans was coming down with something, as he’d been sniffling through most of the day while at court. He was looking positively sick by that evening and it was obvious he’d picked up a nasty cold from the Duke of Lyons.
He’d already used four handkerchiefs and he was now on his fifth. His eyes were red and puffy and he kept swallowing to ease the pain in his throat. He looked pathetic and the Constable felt bad for kicking him out of bed. But still.
“I’m not getting it from you,” the Constable said, sitting up and crossing his arms. “You’re too sick. Besides, it would be too warm to sleep together.”
Orléans sneezed and blew his nose. “Alright,” he said. “I’ll sleep in the other room tonight.”
“Good idea,” the Constable replied, then realized how harsh that had sounded. “I’ll be in later to check on you.”
Orléans nodded. “I’ll be fine, Connie.”
The Constable went in a few hours later to check on Orléans as he’d promised. Orléans was on the verge of sleep, still sniffling.
“Hey,” the Constable whispered, sitting down. “Need anything, mon cœur?”
Orléans just swallowed. When the Constable leaned forward, he saw that Orléans was crying, not just from irritated eyes. “I’m sorry,” he mumbled. “I shouldn’t have gotten sick.”
The Constable pet his curly hair. “You can’t help it,” he said. “That just happens.” He sighed, knowing why Orléans was crying. “I’m sorry,” he echoed. “I shouldn’t have kicked you out of bed. It is yours too.”
“You’re all right,” Orléans said. He coughed.
The Constable lay down next to Orléans and put an arm around him. “I think I’ll stay,” he said, kissing Orléans’ temple. It had taken the first year of their relationship to get mushy, but now they were more comfortable with expressing affection- in private, of course.
They both fell asleep, Orléans exhausted from the cold and the Constable from working all day. The Constable could have sworn he heard “Night, Connie,” whispered right before he fell asleep.
They woke up the next morning, Orléans with his head on the Constable’s chest as always. He looked much better than he did the previous night.
The Constable wrapped his arms around him, then let him get up.
“I sure hope I’m better enough,” Orléans said. “Can’t be sick during an audience with Bourbon.”
“You look fine,” the Constable replied, reaching for his boots before he realized he’d left them in the other room.
Orléans got dressed and hurried to get the papers for his proposal to be presented to the Duke of Bourbon. The Constable dressed while Orléans was gone and, as he finally pulled on his boots, he felt a tickle in his nose. Must be dust.
By the time they arrived at court, Orléans to talk to Burgundy and the Constable to meet with the king and a man from the English king, the Constable had sneezed twice.
Don’t get sick, he urged himself. But as he walked into the throne room, he let out a mighty sneeze that probably echoed through the chamber and was heard across the countryside.
He was going to banish Orléans from all of France when he got a hold of him.