By Sally Madison
Peter bent to one knee, bringing his unusual height down to Alexandria, as she sat in front of the mirror in her boudoir. “I brought you a gift, my dear,” he commented as he carefully, took the comb out of its box. He knew of her fondness for black pearls and had it specially made for her in Paris. Expertly, he placed it into the tight swirls of her silky flaxen hair that he loved to touch. Six black pearls in the center formed a crescent, each pearl surrounded by a ring of white pearls and the long teeth were made of mother-of-pearl. The black pearls represented her, six, one for each year they had been lovers. The white pearls represented his loving arms surrounding her. Caressing her shoulders, they looked lovingly into the mirror at their reflection. If only such ecstasy, could last a lifetime.
They were alone this evening and Alexandria knew that she needed to tell him. Peter strode into the dinning room dressed in his military uniform, which he knew she loved to see him wear. With his extreme height, Alexandria nearly swooned, he was absolutely magnificent. He looked into look in her eyes, so soft and warm. Alexandria was wearing his favorite gown, which she had loosened in the bodice for this occasion. The white silk gown had mother of pearl sequins embroidered around the low neck line and the hem of the skirt. Of course, the new comb with six pearls, matched her necklace, bracelet, broche, earrings and ring, each one a previous anniversary gift.
Watching his handsome face, as his mouth formed the words; she barely heard a word of what he said, as he spoke of far off cities, ship building, and plans to westernize his empire while enriching his people. Her mind focused on her plans for the night. His increased excitement was paralleled by hers. Her heart beat so hard, she thought he could hear it. She had tried several times to approach the subject, but his exuberance for the plans suppressed her. He hadn’t noticed the small bulge of her abdomen.
The next day she could feel her hear break again, when the general called, “It is time to go, your majesty.” She knew that his brother, Ivan was not well, but she grateful for the time together, and tried not to be possessive.
Lovingly, she fingered the pearls, and smiled at the symbolism. If only she had been born in Russia, she could have been the next tsarina. Carefully she put the jeweled comb in its specially designed box and rewrapped it. She knew that each time she opened the box; it would be like experiencing this visit, all over again.
Putting the treasures on the high shelf in the back of her wardrobe, she tucked them away from the inquisitive eyes of her husband.