Author's note: SORRY! For the long delay in updating. I couldn't seem to get the next chapter written. This chapter is not long, but I wanted to post something before Christmas. Also, I hope it helps me to write the next chapter faster and easier… Anyway, hope you like it! Let me know what you think. Reviews are greatly appreciated.

I don't own the musketeers or anything to do with it!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Chapter 7 - Unravelling

'Aramis!' a woman's voice admonished. 'What kept you? We were worried…' It was midnight and ominous thunderclouds were rolling over the town; promising rain. She was exiting a white, slightly decaying building, which was overgrown with ivy; as if she had been waiting for Aramis' return.

'I am sorry, Agnetha,' Aramis apologized. 'I did not mean for you to be concerned.' Offering his pardon to a woman with long grey hair and a kind smile.

'Who's this then?' Agnetha asked, looking Athos up and down.

Aramis smiled, placing a hand on Athos' shoulder, 'This is Athos, my brother.'

Agnetha clapped her hands together, delighted. 'Oh, how wonderful! You see, God works in mysterious ways…' she said knowingly.

Aramis just inclined his head with an amused smile.

'It is a pleasure to meet you Athos,' Agnetha said. 'Aramis told me a lot about you.'

'I'm sure,' Athos said, but there was a small smile on his face. 'I believe I need to thank you for saving my brothers life when I failed to do so…'

Aramis gave him a look that said to let it go.

'Oh no… none of that,' Agnetha said, shaking her head. 'It has been a pleasure to meet Aramis. Although I have to admit he was a long way from safe when I found him… and it took a long time for him to be out of the woods… so to speak…'

An awkward silence followed.

Deciding to change the subject, Aramis said to Agnetha while leading them into the house, 'I'm afraid I did not get the chance to ask the Duke about the orphanage…'

'If I may, Madame,' Athos interrupted, 'Aramis has told me about your troubles… We are on our way back to Paris… maybe if you write him a letter about your situation... We can deliver it to him.'

Aramis just looked at him as if he had gone crazy… Agnetha smiled at him; grateful. 'Maybe that is a better idea. Aramis told me the Duke was not very inclined to help other people but himself…'

'Maybe Captain Treville should hand the letter to the King,' Aramis suggested, 'he will listen to him or at least hear him out.'

Athos conceded, inclining his head.

'So… you will be leaving us tomorrow?' Agnetha asked Aramis.

Aramis nodded slowly, 'I think so… although I don't know if I'm going to be able to ride a horse with this leg.' He grimaced. He hated that his leg wasn't healing faster if at all.

'Your leg will heal, Aramis,' Agnetha said reassuringly. 'You just need to give it time…'

'Patience has never been his strong suit…' Athos stated, looking at Aramis with a dry smile. 'We'll get you to Paris, Aramis… One way or another.'

JAMMF

'Good morning, Your Majesty,' Constance greeted cheerfully; while closing the door behind her. She got no response but that didn't deter her. She walked over to one of the windows to open the heavy curtains to let the sunlight in. Then walked over to the bed to wake up the Queen. But it was not necessary as the Queen lay with open eyes in bed staring at the ceiling.

'How are you feeling today, Your Majesty?' Constance asked brightly.

Anne just shrugged.

'Maybe well enough to take a stroll in the garden?' she asked, 'the night brought rain, but the sky cleared and the sun in shining now… it is actually quite nice outside.'

Anne sighed, 'Maybe you are right, Constance.' Getting out of bed, Constance helped her into her robe. 'And I think I may feel well enough for a bit of fresh air…'

'I am sure it will do you good,' Constance offered. 'Enjoy it, while you still can…' she added in a softer voice.

Anne nodded, 'I guess you are right…'

'If not for yourself then for the little wonder growing inside of you.'

Hands caressing her still flat belly, Anne sighed and suddenly her eyes welled up with tears. She looked at her lady in waiting and confidante, 'I miss him so much, Constance,' she whispered. 'I… I just wish that…'

'I know…' Constance whispered. What else could she say? Aramis was gone and he would never know he had fathered a child. Constance sighed inwardly thinking of the complications it would have brought had Aramis been alive… She didn't want to think about that. The Queen needed her. Especially when her pregnancy would be announced in a few days; as soon as the King's brother would arrive in Paris.