Ooh, I'm enjoying the title. It translates to 'The Law of France' and I just imagined how it would be if our favourite characters were set in a law environment in the modern 21st century. It runs off the canon plots but altered to fit 21st-century plots really. Eek, enjoy! I am still working on TPS, just ran into a few issues.
It feels surreal to Mary as she watches her family name be inserted before Valois & Medici. It's always been a wish of her father to expand the law firm and she took her chance in accepting a marriage proposal from her boyfriend, Francis Valois, without a doubt and a few conditions to the proposal.
She's been in France for almost four years, ups and downs following her as she fought her way to make herself a named partner and a major part in Henry Valois's little game of law and justice. He called the shots, but now she wielded a little bit of power to secure a name for the Stuarts once again after her half-brother drove her out of the firm back in Scotland, feeling jealous over the fact that their late father gave her the reins and not him as the eldest child and son.
"Looks amazing," she hears and she turns to Kenna with a small smile. "'Stuart, Valois & Medici'. How on God's Earth did you manage to get the first slot?"
"Francis," Mary says softly. "After everything-"
"He is still crazy in love with you and would fight on your behalf," Kenna finishes knowingly. "I've got drinks with the girls. I was going to ask if you wanted to join?"
Mary stares at her last name on the wall. "We do have something to celebrate," she muses. "And we can finally start organising my bachelorette party."
Kenna grins. "That's my girl," she says. "I'll meet you downstairs?"
"Yeah," Mary says, watching her leave before her eyes return to the 'Stuart' on the wall. It's incredible, a smile growing on her face in pride and fulfilment. But this is only the beginning.
Just as she turns, she almost bumps into someone, their hands going to her forearms to steady her and she slips her hair behind her ear, looking up at those familiar green eyes.
"Bash," she mumbles as he lets go of her to inspect the lettering on the wall.
"Congratulations," he says but Mary can hear the slight discomfort in his tone. He's been here far longer than her, it's his father's name on the wall, the name his father refused to give him when he was born and now, it's more evidence that he'll never be a part of the family business. "You deserve it."
Before she can speak, her phone beeps with a text message. She scans it, sighing when it's Kenna telling her to hurry up. She looks up at Bash briefly and gives him a small smile as her head bows back to her text.
"Thank you. I've got to go," she mutters. "Celebratory drinks with the girls..."
"I heard," Bash says, looking in the direction of the lift Kenna disappeared in. "Enjoy them."
Mary nods, backing away in the direction of her office. "I will," she says before leaving him staring at the names on the wall.
"There you are."
Mary kicks her heels off, sending Francis a grin as she hugs him from his position on the sofa. She presses a sloppy kiss on his cheek and he chuckles. "Hi..."
"The girls told you 'one more drink' way too many times?" Francis asks knowingly, pulling her into his lap.
Mary lets out a giggle, nodding. "They did," she admits. "I don't mind though. Everything is going right for us." Then she remembers Bash. "Don't you think it's time to make things right with-"
"Mary," Francis warns, untangling himself from her grip as he heads to the kitchen. "I'm not ready."
"We've moved on, haven't we?" She asks him, coming to take a seat at the island. "I chose you, I'm marrying you so put aside your pride and well, make things right with him."
Francis pours himself a glass of wine, contemplating her words. "He was my brother-"
"You still are brothers-"
"Not after that, we aren't," he says sharply. "Have you forgotten what you were going to do with him? Runaway, start a life together with him? I will never forgive him for that."
Mary swallows hard. She's forgiven James for running her out of Scotland, he's the only sibling she's got and for Francis, he has many other brothers and sisters which could take the spot as 'favourite sibling' but it still doesn't sit right with her considering how close he and Bash were. It doesn't help with the forlorn looks Bash gives whenever Francis leaves the room or ignores everything he has to say. She's just relieved that Henry and Catherine didn't force them on a case together in the case of them fighting things out physically again.
"But you can forgive me?" She asks softly.
Francis smiles wryly. "I'm marrying you, aren't I?" He retorts.
"I love you," he says, coming up to her and cupping her cheeks. "So much. Ever have since we were kids."
Mary nods, accepting a soft kiss on her lips. "I love you too," she breathes out with a smile. "I'm going to need something to sober me up otherwise I'd have a killer hangover tomorrow morning at work."
Francis snorts. "One 'Pre-Hangover Cure' coming right up," he says, leaving her side to head to the fridge. "Why don't you get dressed in something more comfortable?"
Mary grins. "Oh, I know just the thing..." She trails off, biting her lip as she gets off the stool and heads to their bedroom.
It's not that she doesn't care. It's just that she could care less. She loathes the sympathetic looks she gets whenever Henry receives orders for his little lovers scattered around the world and she ignores them, keeping her head up high and her heart cold as ice.
She's Catherine de Medici, named partner of Valois & Medi-She curses, it's Stuart, Valois & Medici now. But she doesn't mind, the best is always saved for last and every time someone utters her surname, she grins, reminding her husband that she still has power in the damned firm and there is nothing he could do about it.
"Madame de Medici?"
"What is it, Penelope?" Catherine snaps, snatching the case file from the girl's hands. She knows Penelope has been the latest fling of her husband's, knowing full well of his boredom towards her future daughter-in-law's good friend. Henry never spent more than a month with his floozies but somehow that Beaton girl had managed to squeeze a lot out of him for a good one and a half years.
"Your client is waiting outside your office," Penelope tells her, a slight smirk on her face as if she's taunting Catherine that the older woman's husband is in her bed.
Catherine scoffs, smiling cruelly before walking towards her office, her phone ringing in her handbag. She meets her client with a polite greeting before excusing herself for five minutes for her to get herself prepared and answer her call inside her office.
"Catherine de Medici?" She says, scanning the case file.
"Madame de Medici, it is Saint Francois School," the voice says. "Your son, Louis started a fight. We need yours and your husband's presences at the Director's office."
Catherine rolls her eyes hard. "Give us two hours," she says before hanging up.
The last thing she needs is for her younger children to act up as her older son and his half-brother play peek-a-boo at work. She feels like she's in a damn playground, the kids running circles around her as their father parades about with his indiscretions.
She could kill for a strong liquor right now but she opens her office door, inviting her client in with a wide smile and a promise to win his case for him.
Kenna looks up at Bash and smiles wryly, hiding her small bottle of wine back into her handbag before closing her case file with a heavy sigh. "I'd rather be anywhere else but here," she mutters, rubbing her eyes.
He takes a seat, sliding her case file over. "Do you mind?"
"Not at all," she says distractedly before eyeing him with wide eyes. "Actually-"
Bash frowns. "This is a restraining order," he states. "Against my father. From you..."
Kenna nods slowly, pursing her lips as she takes a sip of wine from her plastic cup. "Yeah."
"What happened?" Bash asks, scanning the sheets of paper. "Had a little argument of him breaking one of your nails or something?"
Kenna eyes him warily, shaking her head. "Nothing as menial as that."
"I know," he mumbles. "I thought I'd get a crack of a smile at least."
It comes but only briefly as she reaches to pull the file back. "It's nothing," she mutters and then his eyes land on her wrist which she quickly pulls her sleeve down over. "I've got to-"
Bash lets her take the file back without a fight and he gives her a small smile. "Good luck."
"Thanks," she says, furrowing her brows as she stares him down curiously. "Why would you support me if-"
"Bash, there you are!"
They turn in the direction of Lola standing by the door breathlessly as if she's been searching for him for ages. She gives Kenna a wide smile which the caramel-haired woman returns with a charming smile of her own.
"How are you not looking like death after yesterday?" Lola asks, suddenly ignoring Bash's presence.
Kenna scoffs lightly, stuffing her file into her handbag before downing the rest of the contents of her cup and placing the cup into the recycling bin. "Darling, a little bit of alcohol doesn't affect me."
"A little?!" Lola repeats, turning to Bash. "This woman drank three sangria wines, a bottle of Vodka and had two Whiskey neats last night."
Bash's brows raise. "Well, damn."
Kenna smiles wryly. "I'm going to get some work done," she mutters before sliding past Lola who frowns slightly at Kenna's quick depart.
"What's up with her?" Lola asks Bash as he stands and follows her out.
"I don't know," he says. "Now who needs me?"
"Your client arrived, shouting something about being screwed, I don't know," she mutters.
Francis watches as Bash speaks with his client, trying to calm the woman down or whatever and he grips his pen tightly. He's never been as handsome as his brother but people still fell for him for his looks. Bash is also the smarter one out of them.
Normally the firm would hire only the top from prestigious Law schools and although he and Bash went to the same one, Bash got the highest mark in his whole year and Francis was in the double digits somewhere in his year. Luckily, his parents were all too forgiving. It's because of him that Mary's bought into the piece of their gold mine, not Bash.
"Mother," he replies, looking at Catherine's irritated face. "What is it?"
"Louis is acting up again. Could you please go to his school in your father's and I's behalves?"
Francis sighs, nodding. "I'm free, I guess," he mutters, locking his files up in his drawer before grabbing his phone and keys. "What happened now?"
Catherine leads him through the firm, heading downstairs towards the entrance. "He started a damn fight. That boy has your father's hot-headedness, I swear."
"That's surprising. Considering he was scared of hurting insects as a kid," Francis replies, sending Mary a grin as she walks by with a slight blush upon seeing him. "I'll set him straight as well as the parents of the other kid."
"Say he's willing to have three months worth of detention this time," Catherine informs him. "And he's grounded for four."
"That's a bit harsh-"
"Discipline, Francis," Catherine says. "You'll be a father one day..."
Francis smiles to himself. He can imagine his children now. With Mary's raven hair, his blue eyes or the opposite with his blonde hair and their brother's brown eyes. Just the idea makes his skin tingle as he bids his mother 'goodbye' with a kiss on her cheek before heading into the lift and going down.
Just two weeks to go until he and Mary get married and he can't wait.