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Unconditionally

By Samantha Foote

Fantasy / Romance

Unconditionally

“You love a bastard born son of the king; your reputation would be spoiled.” Sebastian whispered. The setting sun shone bloody patterns through the filtered glass of King Henry’s French palace. It lit the skin of a beautiful brown haired woman in golden and rosy shades. The pearls adorning the length of her side braid were black in the dying light, but she had never looked more perfect to the man seated beside her.

“I do not care whether you are bastard born or otherwise, it would not matter to my crown either. Let the people speak, but let the best rule.” Mary’s mouth quirked into a small smile, her bottom lip looking as if it would crack in the dry sun. “You will be legitimized soon enough as it is, there is no way the pope can refuse your birth right, whether you be a bastard or not.”

“You know I care nothing for the French crown,”

“It is not really the matter of the French crown more than what your father wills. King Henry will not rest until I marry the heir to the French throne, because he craves power, especially the power to control half of Europe.”

“You will make lay to the ownership of the English crown then?”

“Yes, but not for my own personal gain- I believe it is time we stop the foolishness between England and Scotland.”

“The people will not rest easy with you in control of three thrones as queen.”

“If war must be fought, then we will fight.”

“When did you become such a hardened soldier?”

“When my life came into jeopardy every day of my life, growing up in a convent fearing everything you touch and eat is no way to live. You learn to protect yourself, even at the expense of others.”

“I will not let anyone harm you so long as we’re together,”

“I wonder if you can really promise me something like that Bash, tomorrow is so undecided.”

“I don’t want to lose you Mary; therefore, I will fight to keep you alive, even if I die.”

“And leave me without love?”

“You will find love again; after all, you found it so easily in my little brother when you were meant to be wed.”

“Just because I have been with your brother does not mean I don’t love you.”

“That was not what I was saying,” Sebastian defended, turning his wary brown eyes to hers.

“I was given the chance to choose between you and Francis and in the end I chose you,” Mary’s eyebrows crinkled together, her face becoming slightly angry at his insinuation.

“You chose me because his life was in danger, from some prophecy by Nostradamus, not because you were in love with me.”

“Bash, how can you think that?”

“Oh it’s quite easy, believe me.”

“Well then,” Mary was unsure of how to respond, instead, choosing to turn away and make her way down the halls. The light made her dress shimmer with each window she passed; Sebastian watched her go for a minute, before walking to catch up with her.

“Are you saying you’re actually in love with me?”

“Yes, I have been for a while now.”

“When?”

“Ever since I first laid eyes on you when I arrived at French Court,” Mary explained, stopping momentarily to remove a budding red rose from a vase.

“Bit romanticized isn’t it, love at first sight, loving another before being with the one you love.”

“Not romanticized at all, considering I didn’t know I was in love with you at the time.”

“But you just said-”

“Bash, it was when you kissed me. Everything started to fall into place and then I kissed you and it seemed to right and real, nothing compared to what I had lived through before.”

“How am I to believe you? Whilst I would love to, especially all things considered, but you, you are-” He paused, stumbling over which word would fit right in this situation.

“Unable to put my feelings for you into words,” She smiled at him again; they were standing outside her chambers now. “Bash, I only ask that you believe the words I tell you now. I know I love you because I would be willing to do anything to protect you. I will love you till my dying day and nothing will change that. I can’t even explain what I want to say here and now, but everything you do makes me feel like a young girl playing in the gardens of the convent with the maids attending to me. The happiest I’ve ever felt-every time we touch it feels like a day lying in the sun warmed grass, not doing anything except staring up at the sky.”

“I would give you forever, to do as you please, to only see that smile on your face once more.” Sebastian grasped her slim and tender hands in his, kissing her knuckles lightly.

“Then say you’ll stay with me-that you believe in my love and are willing to let me give you forever as well.”

“Anything,” his breath was warm on her cheek, his lips grazing gratefully on her flushed skin.

“I love you Bash, unconditionally.”

“Unconditionally.”

It was the dawn breaking on a wide expanse of ocean as his lips met hers. For nothing could bring them down; not one crack could be seen, it was perfect and their love would hold fast for years to come.


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