Aeliel would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Two is Not Always Better Than One

By Aeliel

Adventure / Romance

Chapter 1

The hurried feet of the servants echoed throughout the halls. Queen Mary of Scotland was returning to stay at the castle, for her protection and to prepare for her upcoming marriage to Prince Francis. The pressure to arrange the grounds hung thick in the air as the West Wing of the stone edifice was readied for her homestead, and that of her ladies-in-waiting.

Sebastian gazed out the window of his chosen hiding place, thinking about the coming visitor, his little brother's fiancé. They had played together as children. To be more truthful, it had been Mary and Francis playing together. Sebastian had always thought himself too mature to play in their silly games, or had at least positioned himself as such.

Things had changed since she had last been at court. For the love of his favorite son and longtime mistress turned confidant, King Henry had petitioned Pope Julius III that Sebastian be declared legitimate. This did not change his stance in the line of succession, however, as his father so pragmatically reminded him. Francis was the only true heir to the throne. Sebastian would potentially be considered upon Francis' death, if that should ever happen, lest they create murmurings amongst their countrymen.

None of this mattered to Sebastian, as being King had never been something he had felt strongly for. His dreams consisted of never having to shoulder the responsibility that came with taking care of a country. The wind often called to him when he was alone, whispering tales of travel and adventure that a king could in no way have. It was enough for him to wish never to have to choose, for if he ever had to do so he knew his country would surely be left to the mercy of the English vultures.

He was not the type who could lead such a rigid and stationary life.

"Bash what are you doing hiding up here? We should be down in the main hall with our Mothers, awaiting Father." came a voice from the doorway. Francis stood with his hand pressed to the door frame, half leaning against the solid oak. The playful slant in his frown gave away his teasing demeanor.

"I was just waiting for you to come collect me little brother." Sebastian responded in kind. Francis laughed and stood back from the door so his half-brother could exit into the hallway.

Thankfully, throughout the whole process of Sebastian's legitimization Francis had been at his brother's side. Queen Catherine had been fuming and, he was fairly sure, plotting the end of the king's second line. It had been stressful, and still was many times, but the support of his younger brother had meant more than he could have realized. It surely helped that Sebastian had brought his feelings regarding the crown to the Prince's attention, making them both feel more at ease about the situation. Let the elders play their game, for it mattered little to either of the pawns involved.

"Well we had better be on our way. Mary and her ladies will be arriving any moment. You will have some observing to do in order to decide which to hunt while they are in residence. Of course you could always pursue them all, if you are as good a huntsman as you claim to be."

Sebastian smirked at the thought.

"That's right. I get to have all the fun now don't I? How is being next in line treating you than little brother?" Chuckling, he dodged the feigned punch that Francis threw at his jaw. Collecting themselves as they rounded the corner into the main hall, they joined their respective mothers and proceeded onto the grounds to be joined by King Henry II.

The procession was followed by the family guards, and servants from throughout the castle, all eager to meet the new arrivals. Mary's ladies stood in front of the carriage which had brought them to the palace. Waiting for their Queen, they fussed with their skirts and fixed the loose strands of each others hair to be sure they were looking their best for her arrival. Francis grinned at his brother, and Sebastian couldn't help but fix him a sly look in return.

Trumpeters sounded as the royal carriage pulled up in front of the procession. The waiting crowd held their collective breaths as the Queen of Scotland, and, if the alliance held, their soon to be Queen Consort, stepped to the ground. Her dark eyes sparkled with happiness as Francis moved forward to greet her.

Watching from his place beside his mother, Sebastian was struck by how beautiful she had become. Her raven hair shone in the bright sun, complimented by a silver diadem that perched softly atop the waves like a sapphire studded ship on a night sea. Her skin held a warm rose glow that gave the illusion of softness.

Sebastian suddenly realized he had been unabashedly staring at Mary while everyone was welcoming her. Francis turned and began to lead her back toward the castle, her ladies in tow. Her eyes connected with his and he felt unexpectedly lost in the depth of her gaze. Bowing low, he took her hand and kissed it welcoming her to the palace. "Your Majesty. It is a pleasure to see you again"

"Oh Sebastian. It was a long trip, but I am glad to return. I hope that we will be able to become reacquainted, as we were when we were children. I always enjoyed your stories the most."

Her eyes lit up with memories and she smiled sideways at Francis, allowing him to escort her into the castle.

Sebastian felt his breathing catch. Thoughts of her attractive ladies in waiting fled from his mind as he watched her idly brush a stray hair from her face. Internally groaning from the strain of his thoughts, Sebastian turned and followed the throngs back inside the estate.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

ArgyrisMetaxas: Thrilling story which builds layer ontop of layer. A few mis spellings every few chapters.What I found special was that it took a modern day problem and took it to its logical conclusion and plays this realism with gritting precision. I'm always on edge ready to shout from adrenaline. This is gre...

Alex Rushmer: Chapter One: Not much is happening in this chapter, but I was absolutely fascinated by the depth of your character development. I love how you just sat there with the reader and explored Eddward. Usually, that sort of thing gets boring very fast, but this was actually really cool! He's so unique ...

263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...

Dessie Williams: loved the book. the plot the characters all just great.I think it's a must read. once you start this book it's hard to put down. hope it gets published....I think this book is a must read.great job!!!!

Hawkebat: Playing both Kotor I & II and Swtor I found the story line interesting and it held me until chapter 35 Very good story and plot flow until then, very few technical errors. I felt that the main character was a bit under and over powered, as it fought for balance. The last few chapters felt too f...

izzymerchant: This book is truly special. The plot, the characters and the way the story flows is so engrossing and magical that I found it virtually impossible to put down. The character relationships were particularly fascinating and Melenthia's character was fascinating. Cannot wait to see what happens next!

Lydia Walters: I really enjoyed this novel. It gives us a view of what could be if we really tried.Also that there's nothing wrong with loving our LORD and our fellow humans. couldn't wait to get to each new chapter (mission). Thanks, Joe!

CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...

SPepper: I had a hard time putting this book down even to go to sleep. The story is compelling and beautifully character driven. I hope author will make this a series.

More Recommendations

Giuliana Cassetta: My face is full of tears, I never cried like now with a book or even a movie. I loved every single chapter. I truly don't know what to say, I'm out of words and my eyes hurt from crying. Such an bittersweet story, it's so wonderful. One of my favorites for sure. Keep it up!

makaylakay: I love love this story! It's written incredibly and well thought-out plot! I love how it's a different twist in fantasy fiction, other then the usual vampire or werewolves. Love the romantics and drawn to the two characters so much already! This book will draw you in within the first chapter and ...

Samantha Speed: There were several punctuation, grammar, and missing word problems but it did not detract from the story. This story was very well done, enjoyable, and had an interesting enough plot. It took a while to finish. This story is not complete. I love it, but I want to see another book or have more cha...

Sandra Estrada: I loved every minute of it and I thank my lucky stars that brought me to the story, it's been a whirlwind of emotions, plot twist after plot twist but I never got tired of them. Abby and Kade's story is a hard one to understand but once you're submerged in their story and love, you can't help but...

OpheliaJones: This story took a different kind of spin on the "normal girl lives with definitely not normal guy" plot. The plot points of Frey's father, Liam's family, and Frey's view of Liam's world were good to read. She did not fall in love with him in the first couple weeks. Their lives were not smooth in ...

Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.