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She was proud of it.

Her arse ached and burned like fire but she could not stop looking at the mark in the mirror. Every one of her ladies had been loudly and unceremoniously dismissed from her presence and safely locked well outside of each subsequent chamber that led to her boudoir. Not even Kat Ashley was permitted to approach her Mistress. There in the last remaining full length mirror that was left within her Palace, Elizabeth Regina, daughter of the Great Harry and his Second Queen, Anne Boleyn stared at the reflection of the three-way mirror.

The curves of her hips were barely less boyish as they had been when she had ascended the Throne. But these things did not matter in terms of Fashion. There were endless pleats and bum rolls that could enhance even the figure flaws of a Queen beneath her heavy silk gowns, and what these and her chemises would conceal for the rest of her life, to even her own doctor would be a heady secret. There, rendered in colour into the very skin of her right hind quarter was a tattoo. It was a gloriously detailed rendering of the very crown that she wore and the sceptre and orb that she had at her coronation. This was perhaps even more detailed than that which served as one of her seals as Sovereign. If that rendering and it's placement were not enough of a scandal, what was shown with the crown, sceptre and orb was. A great black rearing King Cobra was entwined within the spires of the Crown, wrapped around the sceptre and the orb. It's fangs were bared, ready to strike any that would lay hand on either Her person or on the office that she held.

The Symbology of it was manifold. The Snake was a long-gone symbol of the Mother Goddess, that some within England and the Isles still worshipped, and whom the Church of Rome did its best to exterminate. What the symbol represented even more to Elizabeth as she fingered the edges of the marking with gentle fingers was a matter of who. He had been her most amusing and trusted friend, who himself wore tattoos and caused more than one scandal within Elizabeth's Court and still the Queen laughed so often in his presence that none dared to question her amusement. All went well and the wrath of heaven had not been forthcoming with his continued presence at Court, and so they tolerated him with polite, yet tight smiles that made Elizabeth laugh all the more, for few were ever aware that she was actually laughing at them!.

Yes, Snake Plissken had facilitated her being able to have the tattoo done and they both laughed at the expense of everyone else. Having it done in secret was of supreme amusement to them both and the scandal of it all caused them to both titter conspiratorially behind their hands like children. Elizabeth vowed that no one, not her ladies, not even her own Court physician would ever see this mark. Only Snake himself would see it, until after she was dead and gone and then let the Court and her heir (Whoever that ended up being!) and everyone scandalize and argue over what it possibly could have meant.

'Walsingham would have a stroke', she grinned.

Lord Burghley had been right. Snake Plissken was if not the Lord of Darkness' own agent, then certainly the Devil Himself for leading their queen down a primrose path. Elizabeth was bound for hell in a handbasket slung over the Devil's own forearm. And for this and for so much more Elizabeth adored him. And it could not have been more clear if he had tattooed his own name on her arse.

With a smile she let fall her chemise and began to laugh, she laughed as she unlocked the doors of her chamber and let her ladies back in. She continued to laugh intermittently all the while she was being dressed. Each of them looked at each other confused as to what could be so funny to their Mistress. When Kat Ashley lightheartedly tried to inquire, Elizabeth impatiently waved the question away, suppressing yet another giggle. Even after she had made her way through the sea of Courtiers in her reception room, as she took her throne, she let out another laugh.

The supreme joke was on them all, and none of them were the wiser.

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January 2016

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