The Chosen Bride

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A Lady Always Keeps Her Word

Drake was tired as hell.

He had been fighting sleep for days, being kept busy with constant planning and training. When he wasn’t doing those two things, he was making sure to keep the men busy.

Edward had managed to keep himself busy as his wife had come with him. Nonetheless, someone had to keep the spirits of the men up and it would most definitely not be Edward.

He had expected, after a full night of drinking, the unexpected to happen. A man falling into a trench or a man deciding to ride a horse backward.

What he was not prepared for was his wife.

The goddess had found her way to the campsite, halfway across the country, riding on a pure white horse. Her golden hair snapped in the wind as she pulled the horse to a stop right at his feet.

“What the bloody hell— Katherine, how... what...” He was speechless, shocked at the audacity to barge into war camp as a lady.

"A lady always keeps her word. I said I’d never leave your side and thus, I am here. Did you miss me?” She asked, grinning from ear to ear.

Drake had still not formed the words to express how he felt.

Angry? Yes, most definitely.

Happy? Of course, he missed his wife!

Sad? Yes, for his child was not tucked in her arms as he wanted, but she would do.

“Oh, do not worry about Mary. Eleanor and I acquired a nursemaid who works wonder with the little devil! She gets her to sleep with a snap of her fingers.” Katherine rambled on, as Drake lifted her from the horse and set her firmly on the ground, “You’ve grown a beard!”

Drake let her touch his face and feel the growth he had acquired since he left home, “Yes. I haven’t the time to shave.”

Katherine scoffed, “Nonsense. I’ll do it for you.”

Drake grabbed her hands and shook his head, “A war camp is not a place for a lady, Katherine. You will get back on that horse and be escorted right back to the estate.”

Katherine stomped her small, booted foot, “I will not. I rode all the way here to see you— my husband— and I will not stand to be sent away. If the Queen can be here then so can I!”

“Katherine.” He growled.

Katherine spun out of his arms and marched to the nearest soldier, “Where is his tent.”

The scraggly soldier gave her a toothy smile and pointed towards where his tent was. Katherine smiled back, thanked him and made her way to where his tent was, with Drake hot on her heels.

“I do not want any harm to come to you, Katherine. You must go home immediately!”

Katherine waved her hand in dismissal, “I could not bear it! Do you know how boring it is to be a lady? I almost missed being a street rat simply for the taste of adventure. Oh, sure I had it when you were chasing me around but now— this is all I got!”

Drake furrowed his eyebrows in confusion, “Are you... drunk?”

Katherine spun around to look at him, gasping in fake shock, “Of course I am! I wasn’t supposed to tell you that but I had to work up the courage to see you! Now, come here and kiss me.”

She flung her arms around his neck with a giggle and dragged him towards the ragged bed. He could smell the alcohol on her breath but he could care less. He missed his wife in his arms.

She rolled on top of him and rested her chin on his chest, “See, I knew you missed me!”

Katherine had been sleeping quite soundly until she received the all too familiar raging headache.

She hadn’t had one since the night she had conceived Mary. She hadn’t allowed herself to get drunk until the ride to see Drake.

She looked up at her husband’s sleeping form, his lips slightly parted to allow air an escape route. She gently brushed his hair out of his eyes with a small smile and kissed his forehead.

She rolled out of bed and grabbed her dress. She needed water and food desperately. Katherine had only stopped to change our horses and never to nourish. She was too desperate to get to her husband to think of nourishment.

She stepped out into the crisp air with a smile and found the nearest soldier, “Where do you keep the water?”

The boy, no more than twelve, pointed out into the woods, “From the creek, ma’am. Watch out for the snakes, though, because they are nasty creatures, ma’am.”

Katherine smiled her thanks and walked towards the creek. It was a decently large creek, with crystal clear water and a grass meadow protecting it.

She had considered bathing in the creek if it for the soldiers surrounding it. She desperately wanted to rid of the filth that had consumed her body.

Instead, she knelt by the creek and scooped up some water. She splashed the cool water onto her face to help alleviate the headaches.

A firm hand gripped her shoulder and pulled her upright. With a short gasp, she spun around and came face to face with a gruesome man.

“Hello, pretty girl. What are you doing here out by yourself?” He asked, gripping her hair and bringing her close.

His accent was off, not quite the typical English accent. He was bigger than most of the men back at the camp but was dressed a nearly identical outfit.

“I-I lost my way home last night, good sir. I’m trying to find my way... but it seems... I cannot.” She whimpered.

The man gave despicable laugh and threw her to the floor, “You men’s the measly, little English camp just up the hill? Your husband up there, lass?”

She shook her head fervently.

“A little wash maid then?”

She shook her head again, crawling backward.

“You must be of some value to the men up there if they give you such decent clothes to wear.” He said, gesturing at her outfit.

“M-my mistress... she gave to me.” Katherine stuttered.

“Ah, then she will come running when you scream?” The man said with a grin.

He fisted her hair again and dragged her back to the creek. Katherine kicked and twisted in his grip. She prayed for someone to come save her but she knew it was too late when she felt the sharp pain in her abdomen.

He threw her to the ground, “Make sure to tell your King of my masters response.”

Katherine wasn’t sure where he had gone off to but she knew for certain she had to make her way back to camp. With all the effort she could muster, Katherine got to her feet and began to stumble towards the camp.

It was blurry and her breathing was labored. She could feel the blood spilling from her hands, staining her white gown.

“Ma’am?” She heard the young boy call. She was suddenly grabbed and carried back to the camp.

Tears streamed down her face as she helpless called out her husbands name. She wanted to feel his touch, to know he was there. All she wanted was her Thomas.

“Kat? Kat?” A voice said as she was scooped into someone else’s arms, “Baby, it’s okay. I’m here.”

“No, no, no, no. Please, god, no.” The voice cried again. A hand was placed firmly over hers.

“Move out of my way!” Another voice yelled.

She could make out Drake face just enough. She brought her hand up to cup his face. The soft, silky skin she had shaven hour before brushed against her hand.

“Baby,” He mellowed softly, “You can’t leave me.”

Katherine choked on a sob, “It isn’t your f-fault. I... I am sorry. I shouldn’t have left.”

Drake shook his head, “No, Katherine, you’re going to be okay because our love goes on forever, right?”

“I... love you...too.” She replied, her voice barely audible. Her vision was starting to blur again.

“That’s what you said, Kat, you and I our bound forever, right? Kat? Kat?” Drake said again, rocking her back and forth.

“I love you.” She whispered, letting her head fall into his chest.

She finally let herself succumb to the sleep that had been luring her for so long. She fell asleep in the arms of her one true love feeling loved beyond all compare.

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