Disclaimer:"Reign" or the characters used in it are not mine, sad but true :-( Violations of any rights are not intended. I just took them out for some fun and will return them unscathed.
Pairing: Catherine/Henry – Cathry
Rating: M
Catergory: Romance, Drama
Summery: Henry, searching in vain for some quiet and peace in his own chambers, finds both in a rather unexpected place.
Remarks: like all my other fanfictions, this story has been written in my native language and I've translated it.

Moontime's hour

Chapter 1

Pale moonlight shimmered through the gap between the dark brocade curtains of the King's chambers and cast a broad streak of light on the bed and the couple lying in it.
Henry, who had turned his back to his young and annoying lover, stared with an empty gaze into the semi-darkness and was dwelling on his thoughts. Thoughts that refused to let him come to rest.
In addition, the persistent heat that had laid itself over his country like a heavy and stifling veil, was aggravating his sullen mood even more.

"I think I'll let them replace the curtains and the upholstery as well. They should match the new tiles."
Kenna's words induced him to pull the sheet over his head in spite of the high temperatures.
A suppressed sound of despair escaped his lips. Henry silently asked for forgiveness for the violent thoughts his mistress evoke with her deliberations.

"Henry?" The slender hand that was searching for him under the sheets collided with his neck, prompting the King of France to cast back the thin blanket in indignation and he straightened up.
"Kenna, don't you think it's enough that my chambers are occupied during the day by tile layers, tailors, you and your giggling girlfriends that I can't even think straight because of all the construction noise? Do you still have to pester me at night with this nonsense?"

The King of France couldn't hide his anger. Since making admittedly promiscuous admissions to Mary's Lady in waiting and his new mistress, he felt like a stranger in his own bedchambers. He cursed himself and his thoughtless yielding in this matter and wondered meanwhile whether the little fun between the sheets was worth all this trouble.

When was Kenna finally going to understand that her jealousy and her constant whining was gradually jangling his nerves?
All he ever wanted was an uncomplicated plaything who would hold him in her loving arms at night, making him forget the burden of responsibility for an entire country he was carrying on his shoulders. Carnal pleasures without constant whining and complaining.

Why couldn't Kenna understand that? Who did she think she was dealing with?

A simple-minded fool who would defer to the whims of an immature young woman? Had she forgotten that he was none other than Henry Valois, King of France?
He wanted their relationship to be simple and easy, not exhausting and frustrating.
Was this too much to ask for?

"But it's important to me and certainly no nonsense," Kenna lamented almost sulky, tearing at the thin thread of patience that was keeping Henry's temper in line. Furiously the king swung his legs out of his bed and rose, his face wearing a twisted mask of anger.
"I don't care and I don't want to hear another word about it tonight," he roared.
Without giving Kenna a chance for another reply, Henry grabbed his robe and left his bedchamber without further explanation.

After slamming the door shut unmistakably loud, he stopped his bewildered guards from following him with a single wave of his hand and turned into the adjacent corridor that was deserted at this time of night.
Henry just stood there for a moment, closed his eyes and enjoyed the blissful silence that surrounded him.

The cold floor felt wonderful under his bare feet. The last few weeks had been unnaturally and unbearably hot. During the days the thick air just didn't move at all and even the massive walls of the castle had heated up meanwhile.
Only very late in the evening a mild breeze here and there brought some cooling. Like this night.

Henry followed the light draught and found himself at a less frequented balcony door hidden behind a niche and difficult to access.
The king stepped outside and looked up at the full moon that illuminated the night quite impressively with it's silver glow.

His eyes automatically searched the sky for the polar star. A fixed appearance on the firmament that shone brighter than any other star.
Once Catherine had shown him this particular star and told him about the myth of its creation. Afterwards they had made love under the sky in a similarly hot night. Under them the soft grass and above them an endless sea of stars.
At that time his young and beautiful wife had been his very own and personal fixed star.

Henry shook his head in order to dispel his ghosts of the past.
That night was half an eternity away. They had been young and incredibly naive. Drunk on their burning love and unaware of the heavy burden of responsibility for an entire kingdom that has now been resting on his shoulders for so long.
Not to forget the necessity to bear an heir. A duty whose accomplishment had finally driven them apart.

But it was idle to chase the cloudy shadows of his past.
These carefree, newly married young people no longer existed.

Completely self-forgotten, Henry strolled on, following the bend and rounded the terrace to the rear wing of the castle. Was he mistaken, or did this path lead to Catherine's private chambers?
He gave in to his curiosity and moved on until he spotted another open balcony door. Henry carefully peered into the room that was only slightly illuminated by moonshine.

He recognized the tasteful furnishing of his wife's bedchamber and his attention inevitably wandered to the large king-sized bed.
Catherine had curled up on the left side on the mattress and seemed to be soundly asleep. Thanks to the heat his wife had only wrapped a small corner of her sheet around her hip, leaving her slim legs bare under her rucked up nightgown.

To Henry's secret enjoyment Catherine wore her hair loose. Soft curls framed her freckled face like a golden halo. A sight that fascinated and delighted him all the same.
With bated breath Henry got two steps closer and after a short hesitation he entered her bedchamber, his eyes eagerly glided over her petite, motionless form.

It amazed him how small and delicate Catherine looked while lying in her bed. Normally his wife seemed larger than life itself and despite her small body height she instantly captured every room as soon as she entered it with her aristocratic presence and her dominant demeanor.
But right now, there was no sign of this particular dominance. She rather looked fragile and as tame and peaceful as he hadn't experience her in a long time.

Henry resisted the urge to touch her and was content with silently absorbing her appearance.
Against better judgment he walked towards her bed. His fingers twitched with the burning desire to touch her.

The king of France got down on his knees next to the headboard of his wife's bed and extensively looked at her relaxed facial features. It amazed him, how wonderfully beautiful Catherine looked when she didn't glower at him or tried to kill him with her glare for a change. He had completely forgotten that not only his mistresses but also his capricious wife was a marvel of beauty.

The longer he stared at Catherine, the more his self-control threatened to fail him. So he finally gave in to his irrepressible urges and tenderly traced the contour of her cheek with his index finger. After this audacity he held his breath in anticipation and internally braced himself against the thunderstorm, that threatened to break loose any moment now.
But to his astonishment nothing happened at all.

Encouraged by his own foolhardiness and with the courage of the fearless, Henry repeated this action, feeling the soft texture of her skin under his fingertip.

She probably had made use of some sleep-inducing drugs, otherwise his touch surely would have awakened her. Seizing the moment, Henry sat down on the edge of the mattress and gently brushed Catherine's hair out of her face. He loved her hair. He had always loved it. From the moment he first met her, shyly looking up at him from out under long eyelashes and nervously stroking back her long, strawberry blonde curls.

So Henry bent down to her and the familiar scent of vanilla and cherry blossoms reached his nostrils, prompting him to close his eyes with delight.

There had been times when he hadn't been able to fall asleep without her at his side.
Times when her unmistakable odour had intoxicated all his senses at once.
Bygone times where they had still been happy.
Happy and in love.

And suddenly he longed for just lying down next to her, being able to continue absorbing her heavenly fragrance in order to finally find some much needed rest and peace. Because he couldn't find rest and peace in his own chambers right now.

Henry caught himself letting his gaze wander to the vacant side of her bed.
And he asked himself: Why not?

Catherine's sleep was as deep and sound as possible and she would certainly not wake up by his presence in her bed as long as he kept enough distance between them and stole away at dawn. She wouldn't even have to notice his nightly visit.

He struggled against reason for a few seconds before he silently climbed over his sleeping wife and made himself comfortable in her bed.
Her sweet scent enveloped him immediately and it didn't take long before the king of France found his long-awaited sleep in his wife's bed.

And here I go again – with a new story because I'm still madly in love with this fandom and with Cathry and because it's my birthday - so you can consider "Moontime's hour" as some kind of a birthday gift from me to you. ;o)

Do you like it? Do you want me to go on?