AN : And another one for you all ! Enjoy !
Disclaimer : I don't own « Reign », no plagiarism is intended and I don't make profit of this story.
The morning after their very emotional exchange Catherine woke up first. She was safely tucked against Henry's side who was still soundly asleep. She remembered their conversation and to her utter disbelief she didn't feel vulnerable after having told him her darkest and deepest secret. She felt relieved to have finally shared this with him, stronger. Henry had always been both her strength and her weakness but today she truly felt stronger, stronger in their love because even in their early years of marriage it couldn't be compared to what they were experiencing now. After all, maybe Queens could know happiness…
Catherine wasn't afraid by Kenna's return. She finally trusted Henry and the love they shared. It was time to trust… After all they had lived and all they had said… she believed her husband.
Not long after the King began to stir and to wake up.
"Hello" He said in a crocked voice.
"Hello" She answered with a smile. Then, they enjoyed the morning silence while caressing each other. Until the Queen tried to untangle herself from her husband's arms only to be met by Henry's arms holding her more tightly. "Where are you trying to go ?" He said amused without opening his eyes.
"Well, I have to get ready to receive our gests today." She answered in a neutral tone.
Upon hearing this, he opened his eyes and looked at her directly : " I promise everything will be alright, Catherine. You needn't worry…"
"I know." She answered while placing her hand on his cheek. And he smiled… that brilliant smile of his that was reserved for her and that made her melt like a candle.
They kissed softly and went to get dressed together.
Catherine was wearing a dark blue gown with a daring but very appropriate neckline and long sleeves. She was also wearing a golden belt just below her breasts as usual when she was pregnant and a golden tiara in her hair. She was a pure vision of delight…
Henry wore a black doublet with gold threads and golden shoulder chains and his usual black leather pants and black boots.
"You're stunning." He said when he saw her.
"Well, my husband is not bad either. I always liked this doublet on you." She answered and he grinned.
Then she looked at the floor unsure… Henry saw that, took her hand in his and asked : "What is bothering you, Catherine ?"
She looked up in his sincerely concerned eyes and answered : "I don't know when exactly his planned the guests' arrival but… do you think we could have breakfast first ?"
He smiled, it was so like her, not wanting to disturb the planning while he never had any problem doing what he wanted the moment he wanted. Honestly, how could he begrudge his pregnant wife her food ? Especially if said wife is Catherine De Medici'. Because if he had learned something over the years it was to never get between the Queen and her food.
"Of course, darling. We will do as we please." And she smiled.
This morning they asked their breakfast inside their chambers. Once they were both set around the table covered with cakes, food and drinks. They began to eat and talk.
"Catherine, I don't want you to worry over them." He said after a while.
"I'm not worrying" She lied, never looking his eyes.
"Catherine look at me" And she did as she was bid. "I know you're worrying. Don't try to hide it, I know you too much" And she smiled at the simple truth that is was. He knew her better than anyone ever had. "What is so upsetting you ? I never knew you like that." He said while rounding the table to sit beside her.
"Oh, you know with my pregnancy and all… I tend to be a bit emotional." What she was saying wasn't a lie, she was much more sensitive than usual. But the real truth was that she wanted to be reassured by him once more. He has such a way of soothing her fears and worries…
He smiled and asked while looking into her eyes : "Do you still not trust me ?"
"I trust you, Henry. I believe I finally trust you completely. It's not you, it's her that I don't trust… This snake of a woman." She answered. She really hated Kenna, honestly what kind of a woman would try to take back a married man who was at war and who loved his pregnant wife ?
"Well then once again, I tell you not to worry about her. She will do nothing, I won't let her." He said.
Upon seeing the determination in her husband's eyes, she kissed him. She kissed him with love and more importantly with trust and he returned the favour. When they stopped they were both breathless and Catherine said : " Time to greet them, then"
Henry helped her to get up and arm in arm they walked towards their destination : The reception room of the castle where Robert and Kenna would surely already be with Arnaud and Carolina.
In the reception room
Even before they entered, Catherine saw the Kenna's and Robert's back. They were speaking to the duke and duchess who were facing the Royal couple.
Kenna hadn't changed a bit. Even now that she was married she still wore the same style of dress, more fitted for a young girl than a married woman. The man standing beside her was surely Robert, her husband, he was quite tall, yet not as tall as her Henry and wore a simple dark blue doublet and silver shoulder chains.
Upon seeing them the duke immediately spoke : "Ha ! Majesties, let me introduce you the earl Robert and his wife."
The earl instantly bowed but Kenna marked a pause before curtseying.
"My wife and I are both very honoured to see you, Majesties." Said Robert while finishing his bow.
"And the Queen and I are pleased to make your acquaintance." Henry said.
"I believe congratulations are in order." Added the earl upon seeing Catherine's visible belly.
"Thank you" Answered Catherine while Kenna made a disdainful glance towards the pregnant Queen. Both Henry and Catherine saw it.
"Is there a problem, Lady Kenna ?" Asked the King.
Quickly regaining her senses, Kenna said "Not at all, your Grace."
"My wife told me you've already met ?" Asked Robert with a smile.
"Yes, as she was at court as the Queen of Scot's lady in waiting." Answered Henry.
"Of course." Responded the earl. "Maybe we'll have the pleasure to see you both tonight at dinner ?" Asked Robert.
Henry looked at his wife who answered "Of course." And Henry added "Well, I'm afraid we must be off but we'll have more time to discuss tonight it seems." Robert simply bowed and France's rulers went back through the doors.
While walking down the corridors, Henry said : "Well, it didn't go too bad."
"No, but we still have tonight to go through." Answered Catherine.
"Yes, but I don't want you to think about it now, Catherine. We still have all day before us. And… I might have a surprise for you." He smiled.
She looked up to that big toothy grin and couldn't help but smile back.
"What is it ?" She asked hopeful.
"As I told you before, it's a surprise." He said while moving his eyebrows up and down at her with a corner smile.
She couldn't help but laugh at his antics "Alright then, I'll suffer my fate."
Outside on the grounds, near the lake.
"We're here." Whispered Henry in Catherine's ear while removing his hands from her eyes.
When she opened them, Catherine saw a cover on the grass waiting for them. Upon the cover were displayed fresh figs, Italian and French cheese along with lemonade.
"Good God, Henry ! What did you do ?" She said with a happy sparkle in her eyes.
He smiled. "I prepared a nice little out-door break for my Queen."
"That's very nice of you, thank you Henry." Said Catherine while approaching towards the figs, she couldn't resist her favourite fruit any longer.
"My pleasure." He answered while leading her to sit upon the cover.
The King and Queen spent all day long chatting, walking around the lake, kissing and eating figs until the moment came for them to come back to the castle and prepare themselves for the dinner with Robert and Kenna.
Henry led his wife towards the dining room, arm in arm. She was gorgeous, as always he thought, but tonight she was wearing a silver and gold dress with the set of jewellery he recognized as a gift from him for their 10th wedding anniversary.
Once they arrived they saw the duke, the duchess, the earl and the Lady Kenna. The latter was wearing a dress that was showing even more parts of her body than the one she wore in the morning. It was corset style, her shoulders were completely bare and the corset was so tight that with each breath she took her breasts nearly fell over the top. Her lips also looked ridiculously pink.
Catherine was not really shocked by her clothes or her choice of lipstick. She knew she would attempt something to get the King back, she just wondered when… well… apparently it was now.
Henry was shocked, but didn't show it. Honestly, couldn't this slut understand when she had lost ? Because she had, definitely.
"Good evening, Majesties." Said the earl with a bow.
"Good evening Lord Robert" answered the Royal couple.
The dinner went on in a relatively good ambiance. The only thing that came perturbing everything was the fact that during all the time the diner lasted, Kenna was always trying to get the King's attention. Each time he spoke she laughed girlishly and too loud.
But Henry didn't respond in the least, he ignored her attempts the entire evening, he answered to each of her questions with the perfect tact he had mastered over the years. But, his glances were for his Queen, his concern was for her. It was invisible to all the others around the table, a light caress under the table, refilling her cup when it was empty… He was the perfect gentleman. Her perfect gentleman, her King…
When the dinner was over, they politely said goodbye to their hosts, the earl and his wife.
"Unfortunately, we won't be able to spend another day in your delicious company, Majesties. I have an emergency business to take care of at home. And I'm afraid my wife and I must leave tomorrow at midday." Said Lord Robert.
"That's unfortunate, but business is business isn't it ?" Said Henry. He was in fact beyond pleased by their early departure.
They laughed, bid each other good night and Catherine and Henry took their leave.
Back in their rooms
"Well, I believe it's finally over." Said Catherine while sitting on the bed.
"Yes it is." Henry said, sitting beside her.
Catherine leaned her head against his shoulder and laughed "You saw how that slut dressed ?"
Returning her laugh he answered "Honestly… can't she see that I'm not interested in any women but one."
"You really are a charmer, Henry." She blushed.
"Well, I never said who is this woman." He joked. She playfully slapped his arm and laughed.
When they caught each other's eyes the laughter stopped and they suddenly kissed. The kiss grew long and became quite passionate, awakening an unexpected part of the Queen's body.
The pregnant Queen had wanted to make love since quite some days now and she was waiting for Henry to make an advance. But it didn't come, the only thing he made was kissing and caressing her. While Catherine loved that she wondered why he didn't push thing further. He was always so insatiable… Over the days, she wondered maybe he finds me unappealing and fat, maybe I am so anti-climatic that I can't even arouse him. It grew worse as the days passed.
Tonight when he kissed her with more passion than usual, she saw her chance, maybe he would love her tonight.
On the other side, while kissing her Henry had to remind himself to keep calm. He wouldn't want her to feel rushed, and if she didn't want to make love while being pregnant he'd understand. But she wasn't making things easy for him. With her pregnancy she was positively glowing all the time and she was so beautiful, full with his child. The other reason he was holding back was the fact that they never had made love when she was this far along with child. And… he was afraid of hurting her, or their child. He knew it may sound stupid but he didn't know how to behave in this area with a pregnant Catherine.
When they broke the kiss, they were both breathless and what the King saw in his wife's eyes surprised him… lust and desire. In any other time, he would have laid her down and loved her all night but right now… he had to control himself.
And here it was again thought Catherine. He was retreating. It has been days since she waited and Catherine thought it was enough. He was usually the one who needed to be held back. Maybe if she voiced her desire, they would find a solution. After all he'd asked for her trust and honesty and she needed to know.
"Why won't you love me Henry ?" She asked in a little voice, searching his eyes for an answer. But the only thing she saw was confusion.
"But I do love you Catherine." He answered clearly not understanding her question.
She withdrew her hand from his and went to the window, exposing her back to him before she spoke : "That's not what I mean…" She turned around to face him and added "What won't you make love to me ? I know you must want, it has been a long time since you last touched a woman. Unless…"
His eyes growing wide in understanding of her words, he got up, went to her and took her hands in his own.
"There's no one else, Catherine." He assured her.
"Then why ? I know I must be a little bit repulsive in the state that I am but…" She started but he cut her off.
"Repulsive ? You ? Repulsive ? In the state that you are ? Catherine… you are the most beautiful thing I've ever laid eyes upon." He said lovingly.
"You keep saying that Henry but your actions say otherwise…" She answered while lowering her head. She knew he loved her, had seen it in his eyes but she wanted the truth, the real reason as to why he wouldn't make love to her.
"Catherine, you must believe me my love. I've never found you repulsive and I never will." He pleaded.
Softening upon hearing his words, she asked in a tender voice : "They why, Henry ? Why won't you touch me ? You've asked for my honesty and my trust and now I'm asking the same of you."
Letting out a big sigh, he decided that he'd tell her the truth now, as that's what she wanted : "I.. I don't want to rush you into something you don't want or are not prepared for, darling. And… I… I know it surely sounds stupid, but I'm afraid I'll hurt you or the baby. As you said it has been a long time and I don't know if I'll be able to control myself with you being so invitingly gorgeous." The more he spoke the more he lowered his gaze until he was watching her little, dainty and freckled hands in his.
As she heard him, she fell just a little more in love with her husband. He wasn't finding her fat, he was concerned about her. The fact that he'd put aside his favourite activity only to protect her was warming her heart. But now she needed to reassure him.
Putting her hand on his cheek she directed his gaze into hers and gave him a loving smile. "The only fact that you're saying it shows that you won't hurt us, Henry. I trust you. And… I'm ready. I don't know if you knew but when a woman is pregnant… well… she gets some very strong urges and even very explicit dreams… You can touch me husband."
"Make me yours again." She whispered in his ear and kissed his cheek.
All of a sudden, she was being gently backed against the wall while he dropped loving kisses all over the tender skin of her neck.
Now that he has been reassure by his loving wife, there was no more stopping Henry, he needed her more than his next breath. And he would be gentle and not rush her, he promised that to himself.
AN : I know… you all probably want to know what's next. It'll come soon
WARNING : The next chapter will be rated M as it involves adult content. If it's not your thing don't read it. You can always start to read again with the chapter that comes after the next. (chapter 30 already… I can't believe I've written so much…)
Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed, don't forget to leave a review if you want. Let me know what you think. Maybe this reunion is the calm before the storm… who knows.