A Lady Remains Calm
It had been three weeks since Mary had been born and Katherine had not wanted to leave her.
She had rarely left her room, except for a few paces in the garden. All Katherine could do was hold her sweet angel in her arms.
“Katherine, if you remain inside all day, your skin will surely pale! Please, just let me hold her while you take a long spin around the gardens.” Eleanor stated, reaching for the small babe in Katherine’s arms.
Katherine frowned at Eleanor, “You will certainly not. My own husband attempted to take her from me and even he did not get that chance. I will hold my baby until she is too big to hold.”
Katherine glared at her friend. She appreciated the thought but she was not willing to give up her child for a mere minute. She simply wanted to stay in her bed.
“She’s a stubborn lass, Eleanor, and we have you to blame for it for you raised her. She was your own bairn and she’s more stubborn than you.” Drake said from the doorway, shaking his head.
Katherine frowned at him, “I am not stubborn.”
Her husband bent down to kiss the top of her head, “You seem to be better, love. Your energy as increased sufficiently.”
Drake took the child from her arms, much to her disproved and nestled the child into Eleanor’s. She gave him a look as he took her hands and helped her out of the bed, “Kat, you cannot stay confined to your bed. You have to move around and get some sun.”
“My complexion is just fine. Now give me back my child!” She snapped, stepping towards Eleanor but Drake caught her by the waist.
“Come along, Katherine. Mary needs her rest.”
Katherine reluctantly slumped in her husband's arms and slipped out of the room. “Why must you be so persistent?” She huffed as she crossed her arms over her chest.
Drake lead her towards the top of the stairs in silence, promptly ignoring her question. Her steps halted in the middle of the stairs, “Thomas Drake, I demand you tell me why!”
He looked at her with a small, mischievous smile, “Or what?”
“Ir I will never move again!” She declared.
He made a swift move towards her and threw her over his shoulder. She did her best to squirm out of his arms but he placed a firm hand on her bottom and marched out of the building.
He finally set her down within the gates of the garden. She made sure to step far out of his reach and crossed her arms, “I hate you.”
“I couldn’t care less.” He snapped back.
“You are so infuriating!” She declared.
“And you are stubborn. Now, will you be quiet and listen or shall I dump you in the pond?” Drake asked, stepping closer to her.
Katherine weighted her options. It wasn’t cold and a swim wouldn’t kill her but she really did not want to waste time. She could be back with her baby if she would simply listen.
So, Katherine chose to sit on the nearest bench.
“I have to leave.” He said after a while.
Katherine’s brow knitted together with confusion, “I don’t understand? We just had a child and you already have to leave? Do you not care for her well being?”
Drake sighed and sank down on one knee, “No, I love Mary but I have a duty to this country. Edward, the King, has requested my presence. Actually, any able-bodied men have been requested but... Katherine, I don’t want to leave your side. I don’t want to leave Mary either, but I fear I have no choice.”
“But— but can’t you just tell him that your a father and you have a duty to your wife and child?” Katherine argued.
“He’s got a child too, Katherine. Three years old. He’s got a duty to his wife and child too and it is no ex...” Drake sighed and stepped closer to her, cupping the side of her face, “I don’t want to leave you, darling, but I owe him this.” He whispered.
Katherine felt tears sting at her eyes, “W-When do you leave?”
Drake lowered his head, “Tonight.”
A sob broke through lips as she flung herself into his arms. He held her tightly against him, rocking back and forth.
“You can’t leave.” She whispered, clutching his shirt.
Drake nodded, “I know.”
Drake held Mary close to him as he walked down the stairs, rocking her softly. Katherine trailed slowly behind him, remaining silent.
“Now,” He started, touching the tip of his daughter’s nose, “You are going to do a big favor for Daddy. I want you, my little rose, to make sure you behave for your mama because she needs your help. I also want you to make sure she gets some sun because I will not come back to a pale wife. And lastly, I want you to remain small so that when I return, we can start right back at this moment, yes?”
The little bundle in his arms grunted in response.
“Alright then. And stay away from auntie Eleanor because she will never let you go and then your mama will have to fight her.”
Eleanor, who had been waiting at the door, huffed in response and held her hands out for the child.
Drake looked down at her with sad eyes and brought Mary in closer, “I love you, my little rose.” He placed a small, tender kiss on her forehead before placing her in Eleanor’s arms.
He turned to his wife, who had wrapped herself in her shaw, “I’ll be back soon.”
Katherine fell into his arms and hugged him tightly, “Come back to us, Thomas.”
He kissed her, turned and stepped into the awaiting carriage.
He wasn’t going to focus on what he was leaving. He would not be able to handle the stress of it. So instead, he would focus on what he would come back to.