A Lady Never Interrupts
Drake had been away for far too long for his liking. Edward had needed him desperately, though, as he needed his best friend there as they brought back his missing wife.
The Queen had disappeared off the face of the earth for nearly two years with her son and servant. It had nearly killed Edward, but he managed for a while.
After a while, Edward began to lose hope for his wife’s return. He wrote to Drake and asked him to return for help.
They had found Annalisa in a small bar, hiding right under his nose.
It did not matter to Edward, though, for he had his family back and that was all that mattered.
Two months, he stayed in England, feasting and drinking to his heart’s content. He did his best to look elated for Edward, but his mind and his heart were constantly trapped with Katherine.
As he watched his best friend and his wife, Annalisa, enjoy their new child, Drake couldn’t help but wish he was back in France with Katherine in his arms. He wished so dearly to be that happy with her.
Every thought he had was with her. His heart and body ached to be able to see her again. Thus, he came to a conclusion, in the midst of a long night, that would change his whole life.
He was in love with Katherine. So, he threw himself out of his bed, packed his bags and ran down to the King’s room.
Edward, though, did not emerge, despite Drake’s constant banging on the door. Drake would have woken up the entire palace before giving up his mission.
Finally, the door open, just a small portion, and revealed Annalisa, with a sheepish smile.
“Can I help you, Drake?” She asked.
“Where is your husband?” He asked, not waiting for pleasantries to get to his point.
Annalisa stifled a giggle and glanced back inside the room, “Busy.”
Drake narrowed his eyes, “Annalisa, I don’t have time for this. It’s urgent.”
She frowned at him, “Well, I do not appreciate your tone, peasant.”
“Annalisa...” he complained but she cut him off.
“My son keeps me busy all the time and all I want is to have a few hours of enjoyment with my husband. So, if you do not mind, I would like for you to go to sleep.” She snapped before shutting the door in his face.
Drake remained at the door, waiting silently for the door to open again. When it did, a shirtless Edward appeared with his hair ruffled and his pants hastily put on.
“Please excuse Annalisa. I am sure you understand how a woman can react with little sleep.” Edward apologized.
Drake gave him the ‘I know everything’ look.
Edward shrugged, “I cannot help my marital issues. What was it you need to bang on my door for?”
Drake ran a hand through his hair, “You know how you lay in bed and you just can’t get something off your mind?”
Edward nodded and leaned against the door, his strong arms crossing over his chest.
“There was this girl back in France, under Lady Eleanor’s watchful eye.”
Edward’s face fell, “Eleanor has a daughter?”
Drake shook his head, “No, no. It’s her cousin or something like that. She is teaching her the ways of society. This is not the important thing here. I love her.”
Edward sank to his knees and bellowed a hearty, loud laugh, “You? Thomas Drake, Duke of the largest estate in the whole realm and world renounce womanizer, is in love with a woman?”
Drake glared at his friend, “Oh, go on you obnoxious goat but I do remember a time when you were just as I were.”
Edward grinned, “And all you want is to hold your darling princess in your arms?”
“More than anything.”
“Then what in God’s name are you doing here?” Edward laughed, standing up and pushing his friend away.
“I have no idea.”
Lady Eleanor had not expected to receive an invitation in her hand that day.
She had been staying home, away from the societies eyes, for the past few days when the footman placed a delicate piece of parchment in her hands.
Her husband watched her as she cautiously tore the seal and opened it, “Is that the King of England’s seal?”
Lady Eleanor’s lips pursed together. She had not expected the letter nor the person who had sent it to her. “King Edward has invited us to English court.”
Her husband snorted and leaned back in his chair, “I cannot believe he has the audacity to do such a thing. France is barely at peace with the damned creatures.”
“Jacque!” She scolded, jumping up from her chair and narrowing her eyes at him, “This is an extended hand that we must accept!”
“An extended hand from that man.” Jacque retorted.
Eleanor sighed, crossing her arms over her chest, “I know you do not trust the King, but this is not an invitation for us but for Katharine. She needs this, Jacque. Let me go, for her.”
Though Eleanor wanted to go just to see England, there was still truth behind her words. Katharine had been the reason for Eleanor staying away from society. Ever since Drake had left, Katharine could scarcely bring herself to smile. She stayed in her room for most of the time.
“If I let you go, then I must go also, my dove.” Jacque replied, a smile forming in his lips.
Eleanor grinned and put herself in his lap. She placed a small kiss on his lips, “Thank you.”
“Only for you, my dove.”
Katherine hated Eleanor. Katherine did not hate her with a passion, but she was definitely displeased with her dear friend.
Katherine did not feel up to a trip to England. She had not been feeling well these last few weeks and a very long carriage ride was not a good thing for her.
Nonetheless, Eleanor had pushed her into the carriage and gave her a large smile, “We cannot refuse the King!”
Katherine narrowed her eyes, “He’s not even our King.”
“It does not matter. A King is a King.” Eleanor replied, with a large smile.
Katherine stayed silent for the whole carriage ride and then, once in the ship, she stayed within her room.
Her stomach could not settle no matter what she did. She was constantly tired, barely able to get herself out of the bed.
Eleanor came every few hours to check on her, but she left Katherine alone most of the time.
Katherine was more than grateful. It gave her a chance to think— and she had so much to think about.
Once the ship docked and Lord Jacque had gotten them a carriage, Katherine could stop thinking about her Thomas.
He had been gone for so long, longer than she thought he would be gone. She missed his smile, his touch, and even his fingers. She missed everything about him.
The thought of seeing him again made her heart flutter.
The royal court waited outside the castle doors, lined up in a perfect line. The King and Queen stood in the center, with their son in the middle.
Katherine had been to English court, once, which just happened to be the small Prince was born. She remembered how radiant the Queen had looked that night but nothing compared to how she looked now.
Eleanor rushed forward and kissed her friend’s cheek, rushing into a long conversation with the Queen.
Lord Jacque bowed to the King and disappeared inside the castle.
One of the maids took her bags and lead her inside the castle.
“How do you like England, m’lady?” The girl asked, looking nervously back at Katherine.
“'Tis quite a beautiful country but I fear I do not take to kindly to travel.” Katherine replied, looking around for Thomas.
“They talked about your arrival for weeks, m’lady.” The maid whispered, stepping closer to Katherine.
Katherine gave her a confused look, “You mean Lady Eleanor? I know that her highness is a good friend of my cousin...”
“No, m’Lady, they speak of you. Lord Drake could not go a single minute without mentioning your name.” The maid replied, stopping at the door of her room.
Katherine opened her coin purse and placed a single shilling in the girl's palm, “I appreciate your information, my dear.”
The girl curtsied and disappeared down the hallway, leaving Katherine to defend for herself.
Katherine placed her bags at the foot of the four-poster bed and walked over to the window. She looked outside, down at the perfectly manicured lawn below.
Her door opened, and Katherine spun around to see who had opened her room. A small gasp escaped her lips.
There, standing in the doorway, stood her Thomas, a large grin placed on his face. Katherine ran towards him and threw herself into his arms, “Thomas, my darling.”
Drake placed his head in the crook of her neck and hugged her close to him, “I have missed you, Katherine. Too much.”
He pulled back and held her at arm's length, “I needed you here by my side. I could not wait to see you. I thought of you every moment I was away and I realized that I could not live without you. Katherine, I am in love with you.”
“Thomas—” she cried, her hands covering her mouth in shock.
Her heart tightened at his words and her eyes widened as she watched him get down on one knee, “Marry me, become my wife forever. I want you by my side for the rest of my life, through thick and thin, rich or poor.”
Katherine couldn’t bring herself to say the words. She felt the tears well up in her eyes as she shook her head.
Her Thomas stood, his eyes full of concern, and brought his thumb up to brush off her tears, “Do not cry, darling. What is wrong?”
“Katherine, I know you love me too. I have no idea why you are trying to...” Drake started but Katherine cut him off.
“I am with child.”