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What's In a Smile


WARNING: This story includes sexually explicit material.

Any comments, including constructive criticisms, would be most
appreciated. Please send to

I would like to thank the proof-readers for all their help

This work is copyrighted by the author. You may download and keep one
copy for your personal use as long as my by-line and e-mail address and
this paragraph remain on the copy. Any posting or reposting on a website,
other than the archive, or to a newsgroup requires my permission first (but
I'll probably say yes). This story should not, under any circumstances be
used to make a profit.


What's In A Smile by Vickie Morgan

Even with a boy waving a fan, it was warm in the room with all the
candles blazing away in faint imitation of the Mediterranean sun outside
the windows, . She enjoyed the heat though, even if her favourite dress
was clinging to her back. Somehow she found the heat comforting. She
hated the onset of winter and retreated to small intimate rooms, where she
would huddle next to the hearth wrapped in fur robes.

But winter was far away at present. She sat up straighter in her chair
and smiled as she listened to the musicians playing quietly in a corner.
Some of her friends hated to be sitting still, preferring to be constantly
active. She, however, enjoyed peace and stillness. If you sat quietly you
could see such fascinating things: a butterfly landing on your arm, a
stolen kiss between servants, a fawn venturing across a lawn. Her husband
said she was the most restful woman he knew.

At the thought of Francesco she couldn't help smiling. Her friends had
pitied her when the betrothal contracts had been exchanged. Marriage to an
elderly man, his face already lined and wrinkled and his spine beginning to
bend under the weight of his years and responsibilities, hadn't held out
much prospect of happiness. Yet, as she grew to know Francesco, she had
discovered a true gentleman of integrity and humour. Without being
conscious of it, she had done the unthinkable and fallen in love with him.

Even more surprising, the physical side of their marriage was a source
of unending delight. Her friends giggled about doing their wifely duty
while having torrid affairs with a string of nubile boys. Yet Francesco
was a tender and considerate lover who gave her endless pleasure.

Her smile deepened as she thought of her silly friends, restlessly
seeking out new lovers in an endless search for fulfilment. Maybe it was
the love and respect that she shared with her husband that made their
lovemaking so special. When he ran his hands over her body, it wasn't some
practised, soulless manoeuvre but a physical expression of his feelings for
her. When she pleasured him with her mouth, she wasn't compelled by duty
but by a desire to return the pleasure he gave her. Each encounter had
echoes of previous times, of intimate moments they had shared together,
both joyful and sad. When he held her close to him, she recollected how he
had comforted and reassured her when she had miscarried. When she felt the
thud of his heartbeat against her breasts, she remembered how she had
nursed him when he had been taken ill and almost died. Her friends had no
concept of how wonderful a love affair could be or how wasted their pity
was on her. She smiled to herself at their foolishness until she was
startled from her reverie by Leonardo, the painter.

"This sitting is finished Madam, you may relax your pose now."

But Madonna Lisa del Gioconda kept on smiling.

Copyright Vickie Morgan 2000.

E-mail Website, still in the process of being

Historical Note: I've probably got some things wrong. As far as I could
find out, Leonardo da Vinci probably began painting the Mona Lisa in 1503.
Madonna Lisa Gherardini was from a noble Neapolitan family and she married Francesco del Giocondo when she was either sixteen or eighteen. Francesco
was a rich silk merchant and he was about twenty years older than Mona.
His first wife had died in childbirth. Leonardo took up to four years to
complete the painting. Mona came to sit for him in the late afternoon and
it is likely that he used banks of candle to keep the light constant. She
would be accompanied by her sister Camilla, who would sit apart with her
missal. Leonardo is said to have tried to make the long sittings easier
for Mona by providing entertainment. He invented a kind of musical
fountain where the water played on small glass spheres. He also hired six
musicians to play and put a greyhound bitch and a white Persian cat nearby
for her to pay with. As always, any comments, suggestions or corrections
are always gratefully received.


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