Author's Note: Yes. I love writing stories about women becoming knocked up. Enjoy and please Review.
That was all she could think of. Everything she had worked for had unquestionably been messed up. Oh how disappointed her mother would be if she had found out that her only daughter, the heir to the throne, had instigated in a sin of the worst kind. And of course was now reaping the consequences of her actions. Here she was, eighteen years old and with child. Nobody knew of course and any rumours that she had expected to float around had seemed not to start at all.
Perhaps her 'lover' did not gloat about it for fear of the king's wrath or perhaps she meant nothing to him at all. Mary swallowed hard and attempted to force some spiced wine down her throat. The Princess Elizabeth was asleep in her cradle and her duties had all but finished for the day. Now she was all alone to sit and brood in her chamber. Her second monthly course was several weeks late almost making it the third missed course. She had denied the whole affair weeks ago, but the unwelcomed company of nausea, vomiting, toiletry problems and swelling breasts was enough to convince her that indeed God had punished her for transgressing his limits.
The princess closed her eyes for a minute as if to wish this very monstrosity away, but knew such attempts were futile. She had prayed a few times for God in his mercy to expel the abomination in her womb, but that in itself was a grievous sin and something she would have to confess in the future. Probably not something she would confess until her death bed if she managed to survive the coming months. But she knew she needed to put her pride and dignity aside (did a whore even have such things?) and prepare herself for her inevitable demise.
She had spent days praying for guidance asking God what she should do and the only thing she could think of was coming out with the truth. The Boleyns' had won and she would have to resign herself to their terms on her illegitimacy and indeed nothing was short of the truth. She had abrogated her right to the throne the minute she had decided to let George Boleyn have her against the table like a common doxy.
There was nothing else to be done. She needed to get to court and worm her way back into favour and somehow convince George Boleyn to marry her. That way, when she was due to give birth, the outrage would be less and perhaps the king would leave her be and acknowledge his grand child. She was his daughter after all so if he thought that her and George had eloped and married without permission instead of her whoring herself to a noble, the chances of her being completely disowned might be less slim. Surely the king still had some feelings left for her?
But the problem was, would George agree to her terms? Her mouth tightened in contempt. He would have to, to save his own neck as her child would not be blessed unless she named the father and if she named him whilst being unmarried, the king would be furious. And in any case, if he refused her, she would tell the king he had raped her and it wouldn't be hard to believe with the knowledge of her ill treatment in Elizabeth's household and the rumours surrounding Anne Boleyn that she wanted her disgraced and murdered.
No. This all had to work in her favour. She could very well put up with a loveless marriage as her repentance to God, but she couldn't cope with the backlash and shunning of society knowing her for a whore and a traitor. Licking her lips and smoothing out her black gown, Mary stood up and left her small chamber to speak to the Lady Bryan. On her behalf, Princess Elizabeth's governess would write to the king with the 'good news' of her humble reconciliation to his authority over her as her father and the fact that she was the child of a void sinful marriage. It was a harsh price to pay, but the only way to save herself and her mother from other prospects of dishonour.
She couldn't hide the signs of her pregnancy in this place either when the months would progress as she only had two gowns and two night shifts. Nothing to encompass or conceal her growing belly, but if she was allowed back at court, the king would surely give her the money to buy new clothes. Perhaps if everything worked out, George would make plans to send her away to the country to give birth in secret. It was too much to hope for, but she needed a husband in name to conceal her filthy deed.
Lady Bryan was sitting quietly at a desk going over the household accounts. She was completely oblivious to Mary's presence and it was only when she cleared her throat that Lady Bryan raised her head and gave her a scornful glare. "Lady Mary," she said in an irritated voice obviously not being above hiding her dislike for the king's elder daughter. Making sure she was calm and reserved and ignoring the cold rudeness in which she was received, the princess patiently stated her proposition. The look on Lady Bryan's face was for lack of a better word priceless.
It didn't go as she expected. The older woman eyed her with suspicion and said that she would relay this information to the queen tomorrow. Anne Boleyn was expected it seemed that yet again things were working in her favour. All she needed was a little time and patience and hope to God that no one noticed the change in her features. She already looked pale, gaunt and thin since she could hardly eat and was fearful as well as miserable with all the problems that circled around her.
She gave a slight bow and headed back to her chambers, removed her gown, under skirts and linen, slipped on her shift and said her prayers. Most of the prayer was pleading for God's forgiveness and mercy before pleading with him to help her through the ordeal. She didn't pray for her child as she could not bring herself to properly acknowledge its existence yet. It would always serve as a reminder for her many mistakes and her mother's futile attempts to hold the throne and she didn't even think she could bear to look at it when it was born. Painstakingly, she made the sign of the cross and blew out her candle. It was a long sleepless night.
Mary awoke in the early hours of the morning, groggy eyed, sore joints, tender breasts and with the unwelcome taste of bile rising up in her throat. Groaning, she lifted her exhausted body out of bed and reached over for the bucket she had started keeping in her room. It was cleaned out by a scullery maid who served her breakfast and on her behalf asked Lady Bryan constantly to send for a physician. Lady Bryan thought it was one of her many illnesses again and until she was extremely bed-ridden or near death, she would not be receiving any physician for her health.
Sometimes she thought that her scullery maid suspected her, but that might have all come down to blatant paranoia. In any case, Mary was grateful for all that she did for her in this unforgiving punishing place. Unable to contain herself any longer, Mary bent over and vomited up last night's meagre dinner into the bucket. She was sure there would be more instances of this during the day and it annoyed Lady Bryan greatly, but once she was out of this place all she had to focus on was finding George.
Wiping her mouth with a spare cloth, as if on queue, the maid entered with a slight curtsey as always with some fresh spring water for Mary to glug down. Humbly, Mary thanked the woman and willingly relished in the effectiveness of the water removing the taste of bile from her mouth. She leaned against the side of her bed and closed her eyes as she waited for the extreme nausea to pass. It was always worse in the mornings. That must be where it got its name from. She must have sat there for several moments before she brought up the courage to stand and get ready for the day.
She needed to look presentable after all. If anything, she wasn't going to look like a desperate beggar to the 'queen' when she shamefully admitted before her that she was a bastard. Despite the possibility of having George Boleyn for a husband, she wondered if Anne would have much displeasure at seeing her step-daughter married to her own brother. Mary wasn't sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing, but in the end it wasn't important. When she was dressed and presentable and had managed to swallow down a few bites of her breakfast, Lady Bryan wasted no time in setting her tasks and having her wait on the Princess Elizabeth.
Mary got through it all with her mind elsewhere and when the pageboy signalled the arrival of the queen, she was sent away to her chambers, but that didn't mean she couldn't hear anything. If Lady Bryan failed to inform Anne that she had recanted, she would come out and request an audience with the queen to hear her proposition. All she had to do now was sit and wait. To pass the time, Mary focused on her prayers and blocked out the fussing and praises for the Princess Elizabeth.
She heard footsteps approaching her room and she was greeted with none other than the stony face of the Lady Bryan. "The queen wishes to see you," she said demurely as if Mary had nothing good or important to say. With a haughty expression, Mary rose from her place, smoothed out her gown and headed to Elizabeth's chamber. There she saw the 'queen' in all her beautiful glory. As much as she hated to admit it, motherhood had very much become Anne Boleyn and she could see why the king would do anything for this woman. Mary had only seen her on few occasions as a younger girl, but seeing her now in all her queenly glory made her realize just how much the power of beauty could do.
It was a shame Mary herself was born with such plain looks. Being the princess had its advantages with jewels and pretty gowns to enhance her looks, but for the most part she was nothing special without them despite the fame of beauty or own mother once had. She didn't even want to contemplate what she looked like now. There was darkness under her eyes from exhaustion, her skin was sickly pallid, her hair had lost its shine and her eyes had lost their vibrancy. Anyone who looked at her would think she was broken although the child in her womb was mostly to blame for her physical attributes now.
Anne Boleyn eyed her with mild curiosity and surprise, but her smile seemed genuine. Mary offered her a slight bow as the king's whore approached her. "Lady Mary is it true? You wish to recant?" Swallowing hard and doing her best to keep her nausea down, she replied. "Yes Your Majesty," she said as serenely as she could. The use of Anne's new title only delighted her more and she was beaming wide. Either from triumph or actually wanting to make friend's with the king's daughter, she did not know.
"This is excellent news! I know His Majesty will be most pleased and perhaps you and I will be good friends?" Mary was amazed. The queen's hopes for friendship sounded unadulterated just like her smile. Either she was a deceiving snake or she was stupid enough to believe that the king's daughter actually wanted peace with her. "I hope so Your Grace. I only want peace and to be reconciled to my father. I have done a lot of thinking and thought it would be best to resign myself to his authority. Perhaps it would encourage my poor mother to listen and she could live in peace and tranquillity honourably in some other more biddable household. I am sure the king would be very kind if we both recant."
Mary could have sworn she almost vomited into her own mouth after saying those treacherous words. Her mother would be horrified that her only daughter had betrayed her, but at least she could convince the king to start being kind to her and her mother could spend the rest of her days in a pious religious life. It was something Mary herself would be doing once she married that sorry drunkard of a Boleyn. "Yes," Anne offered positively completely oblivious to Mary's distress. "I hate it that we all have to fight like this. I only want to make peace and you are…my step-daughter after all and even the king told me that you are the pearl of his world." Mary offered a weak smile at that remembering the days when she had been her father's sweetheart and when he use to grab her by her waist and spin her in the air.
"Indeed," she said not being able to contain herself anymore and stumbled from dizziness. Alarmed, Anne grabbed her arms and steadied her asking if she was alright. Surprised at the queen's eagerness to help her, Mary decided to play on her sympathy. "Forgive me Your Majesty, I have not been well for many weeks and my strength has been compromised. If the king does not wish me back at court then perhaps you can intercede on my behalf for him to send me a physician? My illness has made me lack in ability to perform my daily tasks."
Anne shook her head vigorously. "No you will come to court as soon as possible and have the best of care. The king will be glad to see you. I will arrange for you to come within the week if you are well enough to travel, but you will have to sign the act of succession…" she added on. Mary nodded and said she wished for nothing more than to be reconciled to her father and be at peace. Anne was glad for that and ordered that Elizabeth's physician take a look at the Lady Mary and ordered them to bring her a decent meal. The women who served Elizabeth were now set to task with making Mary's lodgings more comfortable while Anne sent the pageboy with a message to the king of the good news.
It went better than Mary expected and for once she could relax. It was enough to make her forget what was at stake and even the burden growing within her womb.