Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
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

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...

Atractivo Sumit: The story is an amazing blend of what we call natural, plain romance along with subtle emotions and interesting twists. The plot is so beautifully interwoven.

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

Alex Reltin: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...

_JosephJacobson_: I don't understand why this has such low ratings. I really enjoyed it!I think that the whole idea behind the plot had something very special and that was something that I really enjoyed. It was new, unique. I think that some of the writing was a little strange in places but overall it made sense ...

shawnas26: I knocked it out in one sitting and enjoyed it thoroughly. Thanks for sharing! :) I'll be looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Jordan Young: *ALERT FOR POSSIBLE SPOILERS* Where to start? I don't know how to sum up this review, this story was absolutely sensational. Brilliant. Flawless. I loved every single bit of this story, it is truly amazing. I read this story in fifteen hours, it is magnificent. I loved everything about it, the p...

Ruby0h: Overall I thought your story was really good! It drew me in right away and kept me interested as the story progressed. I loved the character of Kayla being inserted into this story, and the way she affected and shaped the life of the original story into something totally new and interesting. I lo...

Prasino45: Hi! I happen to see your updated chapter on FF.NET!It happened to be about you coming onto Inkitt with this story! I've been a fan for a while! I'm a scqualphie writer myself. I ship them HARD! Love this story! I'm gonna do a reread as you said you changed some things! Glad we both made the switc...

More Recommendations

Ro-Ange Olson: Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward.

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
Iosaghar

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."