Hello guys! English, it is not my motherly language, I'm French so I apologize if there are some mistakes. Don't hesitate to tell me where they are so that I can improve.
This is my first full length fiction, with chapters, I hope it will please you. It is a AU where Katherine Howard does not marry Henry and where Cromwell is spared. Instead of Katherine, Henry marries a french noble lady, on the advice of Cromwell.
I hope my little story will please you..
The French Bride
Chapter 15 : For thine is the kingdom and the glory
' I have a surprise for you, Sweetheart.'
Marina looked at her husband. She was wondering what he did.
' Soon, your cousins from France will be by your side and they will attend to the coronation. They are already on their way.'
' You didn't?'
' I did.'
The young woman had a laugh of joy and she kissed her husband, who was hugging her.
' Thank you so much!'
' You're welcome.'
In an inn, a small group was gathered around a table. All dressed with black cloaks, their shadows were reflected on the walls by a candle.
' The queen bewitched the king. She also cast her spell upon Lady Mary. She is the messenger of the devil! Our land is becoming Heaven for Lutherans! And the king has invited two of her relatives. It seems that they share the same beliefs as their wicked cousin. We must act. For England. For the true faith. For thine is the kingdom and the glory.
One of them was given a purse and a dagger. The assassination plan was ready. The witch queen was going to pay for what she did to the catholic faction.
One of Cromwell's spies heard them and gave a report to his master.
After a long trip on a boat, the two brothers of Champagne were in a carriage which was taking them to Hampton Court, accompanied by royal guards. Eric was daydreaming while Ambroise was reading. Suddenly, the carriage stopped. They heard a scream and a man, in a black cloak, stepped in the carriage. He looked scary and his dagger was full of blood.
' Who are you?' Ambroise said bravely
' For thine is the kingdom and the glory! The wicked queen and her family will die!'
The man threw himself in the carriage, he made his way to Eric quickly, grabbing in with strength and he stabbed the youngest of the brothers, who could not fight back.
' Eric!' Ambroise screamed as he saw his brother's body falling down
The aggressor tried to stabbed the injured man once again but Ambroise interfered, getting stabbed in the arm. Eric was unconscious, bleeding awfully and having difficulties for breathing. Outside, there were corpses.
' Halt! In the name of the king!'
One of the guards had the brillant idea of calling for some help, the man was captured and taken to the Tower while the carriage was sent to its destination as quickly as possible.
Henry sent the best physicians to attend the brothers while Cromwell had to tell Marina. She noticed his face. Something was happening.
' My Lord, why have you come?'
' Your Majesty, I have the regret to inform you that your cousins have been attacked on their way to Hampton Court. One of them has been seriously injured. Lord Eric.'
Marina felt her legs weakening, she would have fallen on the ground if Katherine had not been there to catch her up.
' No... Not them... Oh God...'
She could not held back her tears, Katherine held her close.
' Your Majesty can be assured that all care is taken for them. The king has sent the best physicians to attend them.'
Marina simply nodded, she was to destroyed inside. Ambroise and Eric meant so much for her. Katherine could feel that the stress could be dangerous for her.
' Lady Rochford. Please, ask a physician to come and help the queen.' Katherine ordered
' You forget your position, Lady Culpepper.' Jane replied
' I perfectly know my place, Lady, but it is an urgent matter! Stress could be dangerous for our queen! We need a physician to attend her and give her something to relax her.'
Jane nodded and ran to fetch someone.
' Your Grace...' Marina said with her shaking voice
' I want regular reports about my cousins' health. I also want a report about what happened, who did it and why.'
' As you wish.'
Cromwell left while Katherine, helped by Joan, lead Marina to her bed. Then, Joan left to find some water, thinking that it could ease her sovereign, while Katherine remained by her side.
' It will be alright, Your Majesty, a physician will come for you.'
' Ambroise... Eric...'
' They are with experts, in good hands. Do not worry Your Majesty.'
Katherine's kind words touched Marina. She took her hand, thanking her.
A physician came and gave Marina a kind of syrup that calmed her.
' I want to see them. Get me to my cousins.'
' Your Majesty, it would not be wise.'
Marina got up and she repeated her sentence. Sighing, he took her to the room where the brothers were. When she arrived, Ambroise was sitting on a chair, his left hand upon his bandaged wound, trying to remain calm but deep inside, he was scared to death.
' Her Majesty, Queen Marina.' a groom announced
Ambroise got up to bow to his cousin but Marina was too fast, she took him in her arms. He held her close, letting a few tears fall on his cheeks. They could see through a light curtain Eric's body, physicians doing their best to save his life.
' I couldn't do anything... I am his eldest brother and I have not been able to protect him...' He sobbed, in French.
' Do not be too hard on yourself.'
Eric looked so pale, so fragile. He already looked quite thin and he had delicate features, some people used to think that he was a girl when he was little but this attack showed even more his weakness.
' All will be well. That's what a dearest friend of mine told me. Eric will be fine.'
Marina tried to smile to comfort her dear brother of heart.
The aggressor was tortured on a racking table. He was screaming with all the air that was in his lungs.
' Answer me. Why did you try to kill Eric de Champagne and his brother Ambroise?' Charles asked one more time.
The man remained silent but then, the torturer started again his doing. Another scream of pain. The same question asked.
' You can kill me My Lord, but there are others who will come and punish the witch queen.'
It lasted for three hours when suddenly, Mary entered in the room. Charles was surprised.
' Sweetheart, you should not be here, this is no place for a gentlewoman.'
' I know, but this man acted in the name of the catholic faction. I mean a lot to them. I could manage to make him talk. I have my father's approval. I must act. For the queen, my beloved stepmother.'
The place was scaring Mary to death, with those horrid smells of blood and flesh, but she felt that it was her duty to act like this. Charles ordered the prisoner to be freed from the table and washed. It was already hard for Mary, he had to ease her work. The princess walked to the man.
' My Lord, I am Lady Mary Tudor.'
' My Lady!'
The man looked respectful towards her, she was truly the queen of their hearts.
' Have you something to say?'
' What we have done is for you, My Lady. The queen has bewitched the king and cast a spell on him, making this realm a land for heretics.'
' I have written a letter which has been diffused all over the country to express my opinion on the matter. I could not be much clearer.'
' It is because she cast a spell on you as well, My Lady. She has to pay. With her life.'
' Was it ordered by the entire catholic faction?'
' No, My Lady. We are just a small group, dissociated from the faction even though we share the same faith. We are the only head of the operation.'
' Why did you attack her cousins?'
' They are like her My Lady.'
He froze when his eyes encountered Mary's. She was scary. He could feel that what she had written, she meant it. A secretary took all the conversation and gave a report to Henry. The group was arrested and given the worst death possible on Earth, the execution being programmed for a week later. Marina being quite loved, this event shocked the entire country and the catholic faction immediately made things clear: they did not support the group who tried to destroy a queen who tried to act for the welfare of the country.
It was almost midnight. Henry learnt that Marina was by her cousins' side. He was disappointed but he understood. They meant the world for her. Her maiden world. The physicians told to both of them that if Eric survived his night, he would be saved. Of course, he would need some help and carefulness but he would be safe. All Henry could do was praying for the young Eric's life. He asked Francis details about the boys before they left for England. Eric was a masculine version of his beloved Jane. A sweet blond and kind-hearted boy, who was the true personification of innocence. The milk of human kindness. Kneeling before a cross, he joined his hands and started to pray.
In Eric's room, next to his bed, his brother and cousin was doing the same thing. He wailed weakly, making them raising their heads. He was fighting to be alive. A few minutes before dawn, he opened his emerald eyes, to the delight of his relatives.
To be continued
I've never written a chapter so quickly for this fiction in ages! I must say that it was clear in my mind. I hope you will like Ambroise and Eric, they are very special to me.