He came back to her, as he always would. That was Mary's thought once she saw her handsome Golden haired husband pass through the castle's gate, leading the French troops back home after their victory in the west. Her little Anne was comfortably settled in her arms and James held her hand.
Henry stood proudly, his Queen of The Bean for the past 9 years, Penelope, still by his side with the high position as royal mistress. The only thing keeping a servant and naive girl in her place being Henry's current mental condition and Thank God Catherine and Francis would be there to have things balanced. The French queen grinned beside Mary once she spotted her favourite child between the soldiers
"One hundred years" Francis started his speech "For one hundred years the English occupied our French soil, but no longer. The West is ours for once and for all!" he announced and everyone, the whole crowd, cheered with him "And I am proud to say that I have fought with the bravest men in Europe, which led by God, above things, and His Majesty, King Henry, provided this beautiful show and made us even closer to conquer the whole continent"
Everyone was happy, but it was impossible to be more than the Scottish Queen. After three months, her dearest prince was returning to her arms
"Mama, look!" Anne pointed at Francis once she spotted her father walking towards them "PAPA!" she squealed and he grinned along his wife, filling his youngest's cheek with lots of kisses
"Oh, my Lord, I've missed you so muuuch!" he stated stealing the child from her mother's arms and hugging his son with his free arm "You've grown so much, boy" he said ruffling his heir's blond hair. Mary couldn't stop smiling, she was enchanted at the scene. John Philip also came rushing to greet and hug his father. All was well finally again. Catherine and her looked at each other sighing happily.
Francis then let go of his sons and put his daughter down to her nanny "Hello, my love" he looked deeply into her eyes cupping her cheek with his soldier's gloves before kissing her like he had been practising for that moment for months
"Welcome home, Darling" she smirked "I've made arrangements for your return, I hope you enjoy them"
He chuckled and whispered while kissing her ear lobe "As long as they begin in our bedchambers"
By the night.
He woke up in her warm arms. She doubted she would ever let him go again, not even for a weekend. To stay sane, they had to be together. The queen was there, staring at his tired face as traced circles around his chest in a delicate way "You're awake"
The young dauphin stretched a little on the bed and nodded before silencing her again with a quick kiss "Sleeping is wasting time when it means being with you" she laughed lightly before hearing whispers outside their room. They only had time to cover themselves, but barely, with their thick blanket, before two children walked inside. Anne came running, her teddy bear in her hand. She had just gotten her bath, as her dark silky hair was still wet and she was wearing her nightgown
"I-I'm sorry!" James tried to explain as his little sister ran to the couple's bed "She was insisting a lot to see you" he whispered almost as an excuse and Mary chuckled, nodding
"That's not a problem, my sweetheart, she said grabbing her robe from the floor and dressing it under the covers as Francis mimicked her, but with his breeches, before picking Anne up from the floor
"Mama, It's bedtime!" the princess squealed once settled between her parentes. It was true. Mary had been sleeping with her babies for the past months, but right now, she really needed her privacy with her husband. And even though was already night, she had enough rest to continue her adventures with him
"Well, well, then you shall have your goodnight kiss before going back to your room" she pinched her nose playfully "James will be delightful to spend the night with you"
Anne immediately frowned and started pouting "But mama... papa is here!" Francis immediately stroked her soft locks
"I'm sorry, baby girl, but you're a young lady already. And you have your own bed" a tear was shed by the princess' hazel eye and Francis yield
"I guess only one more night with us won't hurt" Mary glared once she heard that and he smirked while the little princess cheered, her tears disappearing at once "And you're also invited, buddy" he smiled fondly at James, motioning for him to come closer. The boy shook his head
"I'm old enough, papa. I can sleep in my own bed" Francis sighed
"Look at you... so grown up" he squeezed both of his hands "Let me have you here before you don't fit anymore" James considered for some seconds with a misteryous face before nodding
Of course Mary wouldn't even close her eyes, she was very much awake. That was going to be a long night with the temptation of having her husband while he was by her side and she couldn't have him
Once the kids were asleep, they went to their balcony. He covered her shoulders with a thin blanket and hugged her by her back, she smiled at the chilly feeling
"It's only tonight, I promise" he whispered under his breath before kissing her cheek and she sighed
"It's fine, really, we'll have all time in the world to make love as the insane couple we are" he chuckled
"Well, I'm glad to hear that" she turned around and stared at him. He couldn't believe that. She was incredibly beautiful under the moonlight, even in the dark he could perfectly see her. She was indeed the light in his life.
Few moments later, his mouth was in hers. The kiss was deepening, their tongues lacing together, he couldn't help but hold her tighter, not even reminding of the kids soundly asleep inside their room. He cuped her breast and she moaned, instantly grabbing his nape firmly
"Tell me what you want, Mary" he whispered and she moaned, feeling his erection under his trousers against her body
"I want you. Only you" he moved her away from the balcony's door and together, they made love right there, under the stars. They would eventually be interrupted by a very demanding lady inside their quarters, but nothing of that matter for now. It was all worth it.
The next day
"Marry my daughter? A princess?" Henry seemed incredulous as Leith kneeled before him during the audience inside the throne room "You have nothing more than a commoner blood"
"I beg your pardon, Your Grace, but you made another false queen with the same blood as he does" Francis chuckled, making some lords laugh. The king got annoyed and glared at him "Come on, he is a good man. He saved my life in Calais years ago, is very loyal, fought along with me in the west and has been Claude's personal guard for years. I gave him lands, he has properties and I am sure you can give him a title. Let my sister be happy, at least"
"Catherine, control your son before I do that" he glanced at her and she looked back at him with sharp eyes as answer "No, you'll never marry her" Leith's heart broke into million pieces "My daughter is a princess and too good for you. That's na ofense and I won't allow it." Francis sighed and stared at his friend with heavy eyes "You're discharged from your post as her security. I can't have a maniac chasing after her"
"Father, I object-"
Henry slapped his throne's arm violently, startling everyone, including his wife and mistress
"I won't tolerate this kind of behaviour, dauphin! Do your duty and don't get in between my business" Francis glared at him as he stood and took Penelope's hand "This audience is over"
As the lords bowed and left the room, Catherine walked towards her son "You're so brave, my Golden child, but you need to be more careful in your words, your father is furious"
"Mother, I'm begging you, this man will be heartbroken. He loves Claude with his whole heart. Look, I know you and her don't get along well, so see this as a chance to get ride of her by marriage" she sighed
"Darling, it's not simple like that. I care for your sister, of course I love her, but..."
"She is a coin for France... as father will make my Anne someday" he looked down
"I'm sorry, Francis" he shook his head
"Nervemind. Thank you, mother" she nodded and he went to see his friend, they would have lots of wine to drink after such news.
In the castle's Garden
Bash grinned as he spinned Kenna around once she told him she was with child. Again.
"You silly! You've taken so long to return that I could barely hide my tummy's size"
"Oh, Kenna, this marvelous" he kissed her softly "I'm so happy we'll be a Family of four this time" she laughed
"Will is the happiest one in here, very excited to meet his new brother or sister. It was hard to convince him not to mention a word to you"
"I'm glad he kept that surprise" he kissed her again. And again. And again.
"Few people know, of course, I told only the girls and there are gossip from the servants and court ladies, but nothing of that matters, anyway. We are going to be parentes again!"
Penelope watched them from some distance. Her own ladies-in-waiting surrounding her as she envied the couple, now she knew the rumours coming from Lady Kenna's pregnancy were true. Dear Lord, she hated that woman.
And almost instantly, she turned around and went to her beloved lion king's chambers, decided to conceive him a bastard son at once. Diane de Poitiers would never be coming to court again, if her plan succeeded.