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That evening, as Mary walks through the halls searching for one of her ladies, she runs into Conde in an empty hallway.

"Louis," Mary says. He looks up and sees her walking towards him and he smiles.

"Mary," he smiles when they meet. "Lovely to see you."

Mary smiles, but it doesn't reach her eyes. "I got your note this morning."

Conde raises his eyebrows. "You did?"

Mary clasps her hands together. "Yes, but I was wondering why you were in my chambers."

Conde raises his eyebrows in amusement. "Oh, Mary. I didn't go into your chambers. I told one of your maids to place it in your room."

Mary's cheeks redden with embarrassment. "Oh. I'm so sorry. I-"

"Not to worry."

Mary fiddles with her fingers. "And before you tell me what you want to talk about, I would like to make something clear."

Conde nods for her to continue.

"I have also received your letter." Mary says, breaking eye contact.

Conde doesn't know how to feel, but his face shows shock and surprise. He had written the letter intending for Mary to read it and now she has. But he doesn't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

"And," Mary continues, mustering all the strength she has. "I would like to make it very clear that I am married. To Francis. To the King."

Conde gulps a gallon of air.

"You're friendships means a great deal to me, but that is the only thing it will ever be. Friendship." Mary explains further. When she finishes she offers a smile. "Now, what did you want to tell me?"

Conde shuffles where he stands. He doesn't feel comfortable on his own two feet. "You know, I've have suddenly forgotten what I was going to say." Then, he leaves without looking at her.

Mary is surprised by Conde's response and watches him as he disappears down the maze of hallways.

When she turns around, she hears another pair of footsteps. And they are heading this way.


She turns to see her husband. Her Francis. Her King.

"Hello, Francis." She's still on edge from breakfast.

He stands in front of her. She can tell he's trying to look happy and she knows it's not working.

"I just wanted to apologize for this morning," he says. "I was rather harsh, but I'm working on it."

Mary softens and her lip twitches in an almost smile. He's trying.

"It's nothing to apologize for," Mary speaks. "I was rather harsh too… and rude."

Francis smiles; glad she's opening up to him. He wants to keep talking to her. "I saw you with Conde. Did you find out what he wanted?"

Mary takes a breath. "Uh…" She can't think of a lie quick enough. Francis looks at her in concern.

"Mary what is it?"

Mary tries to avoid his gaze, but when he tangles his fingers with hers, she has to look at him. His eyes look so hurt, so betrayed that she couldn't stand it.

But he betrayed her. He is the reason there is so much distance between them. Francis hurt her, hurt them. She wants him to feel hurt. She wants him to feel the pain she feels.

Her mind is playing tug-of-war. One part of her wants to tell him, ease this pain and suffering, but the other half wants him to feel the hurt she has felt with his betrayal.

She realizes that she is being foolish. She knows Francis will be there for her. But how can she trust him after everything he's done?

"I can see the wheels turning in your brain, Mary." Francis says, looking at her intensely and he cautiously holds her other hand. "I know it's hard for you to trust me right now. Or to have anything to do with me. But," he looks pained. "I love you. And I need you to trust me. I will do anything for you and if this is a threat to you in any way I will-"

"Francis," Mary stops him. They look at each other for a while.

Yet he continues. "Let's take one step at a time. One step at a time to get back to where we were."

Mary nods. "Can we talk in private?"

"Of course."

"Brother!" Antoine exclaims when Louis enters. Louis doesn't bother to look up. "Have anything to tell me? Anything that will help with this plan at all?" He shouts.

Louis remains calm. "What do you want to know, brother?"

"Francis. What is he like? What are his weaknesses? Where is he vulnerable."

Louis rolls his eyes and heads to the dresser, placing his dagger on the top.

Antoine smirks. "It seems you have gotten too close to the royal family that you are more loyal to them than to your own family!" Antoine shakes his head.

"That is not true!" Louis retorts.

"Then prove it. Give me anything. Any piece of information we can use to our advantage." Antoine urges.

Louis takes deep breaths, unsure of what he's about to do. Antoine raises his eyebrows.

"The Queen." Louis says.


"His weakness. It's the Queen. He would do anything for her."

Antoine smiles an evil, nasty smile. "Well done, little brother."

"He's fallen in love with you?" Francis asks, wide eyed.

Mary sits on her bed; hands clasped together, her head down. She nods.

Francis is shocked. Many people have been attracted to his wife's good looks and personality, but so far no one has done anything at this level. Francis thought he could trust Conde, but he must've been wrong.

"Ha-have you…" Francis can't bear to finish the sentence.

Mary looks up, shocked. "Have I what?"

"Has he… made any moves on you?"

Mary stares wide eyed at her husband. "Of course not…I would never. I-" she stops. "I am loyal to you."

Francis collapses onto the sofa in relief. "Thank God."

What an awkward conversation, Mary thinks.

"And I made it very clear to him of that. Of that loyalty to my husband. Despite recent events…" She adds.

Francis looks down and runs a hand through his hair. "So what are we going to do about it?"

"What do you mean? We do nothing. It's over now. He knows the boundaries and he will follow them." Mary says.

"How do you know?" Francis asks.

"Because I trust him." Mary replies harshly.

Francis feels the pain of the blow immediately. Just a few words created a hole in his heart. Yet, his wife continues to hurt him.

"Believe it or not, Francis. He was there to help me when you wouldn't."

"I understand." He says softly. "I should go."

He wants her to stop him, to tell him to stay, but she just sits there with her head down.

Mary feels ashamed. She can't even look at him in the eyes.

She finally looks up when he reaches the door. "Francis," he turns, hope running through his veins. "I'm sorry."

He nods, disappointed. But it's better than nothing.

"Me too."

He leaves Mary sadly on her bed without another word.