Title: A Brief Interlude
Rating: T for kissage
Category: Romance
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. Princess Diaries 1 & 2 and its characters are the property of Disney, Buena Vista, and Meg Cabot.
Summary: A brief interlude after the Wango.
Warnings: Kissage, but that should be it.


”Thank you, Joseph” Clarisse took off her glasses and put them on the table. Joseph walked up behind her and pressed the play button on the stereo. She looked down at his hand for a moment then up to his eyes, a questioning look on her face.

“You’ve been wearing black for too long” he said, offering his hand. She hesitated for a moment, not sure how to react to this, but then gave him a gentle smile and accepted his invitation to dance.

He gently led her onto the dance floor and expertly guided her in the dance. Unlike Mia, Clarisse knew this dance well, having danced it several times with Spanish representatives. She quickly realized that no one had ever danced it as well with her as Joseph was now.

They were so entranced in the dance that neither saw nor heard Charlotte come into the room, see them, and silently back out again without disturbing them. The rhythm of the music and the routine of the steps sent them into a world of their own. Clarisse felt his strong hand on her lower back and she felt warm everywhere his body touched hers.

Joseph spun her in the dance; now they were dancing face to face. The moment before it happened, she knew he was going to kiss her. She had an instant to decide whether to move away or let it happen. She didn’t move away. His lips met hers in a feather light touch.

Clarisse’s hand was resting on Joseph’s shoulder during the dance. She moved it to touch his cheek, needing to confirm that the sensations his gentle kiss was awakening in her wasn’t a dream. When her soft hand touched his cheek, Joseph took it as an invitation and he deepened the kiss.

He ran his tongue gently against her lips and she let him in voluntarily. Her first real taste of him was intoxicating. Rupert had never taken the time to kiss her this thoroughly and she found that she enjoyed it. Her body tingled with sensations long buried and she wrapped both arms around him to bring him closer to her. She lost herself in the feeling of the kiss and the rest of the world faded away.

Joseph was in heaven. For so long now he had loved his queen from a distance, never showing any outward sign of his feelings toward her, but during this trip something had shifted. Since Rupert died he had silently been supporting her as she continued to rule their country, but after Philippe’s accident, their friendship had deepened. She had needed his presence, needed a rock to lean against, and he had gladly been there for her. This trip had taken them away from the prying eyes of the staff and the country and Joseph had decided to test the boundaries of their relationship.

He was so afraid she would reject him, expecting it actually; but she was in his arms, passionately responding to his advances. His hands grew bolder as he ran them down her back and let one skim past her bottom. She moaned at the sensation and moved herself closer to him, wanting to feel as much of him against her as possible.

A small voice in her head told her that this wasn’t right, but his insistent kiss was silencing the voice. His lips and tongue touching her intimately, his hands stroking her body, his hips and obvious want for her pressing against her abdomen was all serving to awaken the woman safely hidden behind the queen.

All too soon the need for air overrode the desire to kiss and Joseph slowly broke the contact. Clarisse gave a small whimper at the loss and Joseph rested his forehead against hers. For a minute they just breathed the same air.

Joseph suddenly wasn’t sure what to do now. What if she changed her mind, what if he had been too bold? He opted for leaving, letting her think and not forcing her into a choice.

“I have to go and discuss the security arrangements for the state dinner” he gently said. She nodded her head, not trusting her voice. He leaned in and gave her another kiss; this one slow and lingering, with the promise of more, should she wish it.

“I’ll see you at dinner?” he asked. Again she could only nod her head. He smiled and then he was gone. Clarisse stood there in the middle of the ballroom and watched him leave, her body acutely aware of the loss of physical contact. What just happened?

Clarisse moved across the floor to sit on the chair she had vacated earlier. She closed her eyes and touched her lips, reliving the kiss. ‘Oh God, that had been so wonderful, but how could this be? She had always known that there existed an attraction between them, but this kiss had felt like so much more. Could she be in love with Joseph, her Head of Security?’ The mere thought both frightened and excited her. The severity of her duty to her country suddenly weighed heavy on her shoulders. ‘What kind of relationship could she have with Joseph while she was queen? Was it even possible? Did he even want a relationship? Did she?’

She suddenly noticed Charlotte standing hesitantly by the door.

”Yes, Charlotte?” She was relieved to hear that her voice sounded normal.

“You have a meeting in a few minutes, Your Majesty.” Clarisse got up from her chair.

“Oh, yes, yes, of course. I’ll be right there.” Clarisse had a feeling that she didn’t look all that presentable. Her face felt warm and her lips swollen but as she looked at herself in the hallway mirror, she didn’t look any different. Out of habit she straightened her hair anyway. All her lipstick was gone however, and that fact brought a small smile to her lips.

She would have to think more and she and Joseph would have to talk about the kiss but for now she had work to do. Maybe when Mia had accepted her position, she could find a quiet moment to talk to him.

The End