|An Unexpected Turn
Author: nevisveli PM
"Another story of Kings and Queens together with evil Dukes and Cardinals. An indecent proposal that had made ambition run through veins like poison, intoxicating the brain and envenoming the heart, and with it all the love and affection." 2011 Continuation.H/C.Athos/Milady/OC FULL SUMMARY INSIDERated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Milady de Winter & Athos - Chapters: 9 - Words: 18,248 - Reviews: 24 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 12-05-12 - Published: 11-12-11 - id: 7545205
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Through troubled times, fate throws the beautiful and cunning Milady De Winter a sign of hope in the shape of a loyal companion, embarking them both on an unexpected journey.
Meanwhile another challenge is on her way, competing with a dark haired mystery woman who's winning bit by bit Athos' heart is going to be harder than she ever imagined.
Crawling out of Oblivion
She couldn't feel her body. She was physically and mentally torn up. Her head was spinning, and she felt like fainting at any second, but the arms of the guards carrying her were strong, not letting her collapse on the wooden floor. She was asking them, almost begging them to let her go. She wanted to rest, to gain her strength. That was all she needed for now.
Everything seemed to be moving twice its normal speed, but it looked so dim, so vague and evasive, like reading in the candlelight.
Had she died of hunger, thirst, or fatigue—
She was reliving all that had happened a while ago. Was it a little while, or was it months, years—
She felt the furious wind messing up her curls, the icy oxygen entering her mouth, glaciating her lungs.
She saw the gun coming up to point at her but strangely she could not see the executor's face. All she remembered perfectly was the sensation of falling, like a hole breaking open in her stomach, and then the crash.
It had been painful, like nothing she had experienced before, water surrounding her everywhere. She had tried to escape from it, to swim up into the surface, but the heavy gown kept pulling her down – down into total oblivion.
But then the image changed. What place was this— and why was she there?
It looked like—heaven.
But no, of course it was not. She knew herself and what she had done too well to think she was going to heaven. But if heaven did exist, this would be it—
She was lying in a field filled with high grass. Everything around her was colorful, magic, and vivid. Turquoise, cyan, aquamarine and the amazing green, and all that mixed together. The sun was shining up above her. The rays pouring onto her alabaster skin, like a thousand tender kisses.
It was like her senses had gone mad. She could smell every flower, hear every insect, and for the first time in her life, she felt at peace. Everything around her felt warm, cozy and comfortable.
She felt so delicate, like she was made of glass. She stretched up her arms, totally at ease when she touched something or rather, someone. She turned her head quickly and there he was, looking at her like he was admiring the sun. It was how he used to look at her before, a long time ago, his blue eyes wanting to absorb the light that flowed from her emerald-green ones.
And then, as if it was the most natural thing in the world, she smiled at him.
The first thing she realized as she came to her senses was pain. The numbing had gone away and aching had taken its place. Now she was too afraid to move, scared that she might break in two.
But she had to find strength somewhere inside herself, the strength to come up with a plan, the strength to survive.
To France, he had said. So another battle was coming, another struggle, and another fight for her.
She had to be quick, to outwit everyone as she always did. But was that even possible— was there a light in the end of this tunnel?
There was no way she could go back to working for the Cardinal. Certainly her friends, the three Musketeers had informed him about her many years of disloyalty. No, she couldn't risk going from bad to worse.
What if Buckingham took her back by his side— After all, he had saved her and kept her alive.
Maybe he would fall for her again; her seductive skills had come in handy more than one time.
But that made her think—of a third option, a bizarre and grotesque possibility to even think about.
Hard and long, she had fought being one of those women. A submissive woman subdued and enslaved by men.
She had had to cheat, deceive, blackmail and murder anyone who had stood in her way, keeping her from earning her deserved status in life, her position in society.
But as much as she had fought being a regular woman, working as a double agent, together with the excitement of danger and rush of adrenaline that it brought, it didn't mean having the liberty to choose your own actions without being pressured or ordered around by anyone. It didn't mean that she was free.
Well now that everything was revealed, with both England and France wanting her dead, she had nothing to lose.
By all means, she had the possibility of truly being a free woman falling into her hands. She just had to find the way to grab it, and then having learned from her mistakes, she would know how to hold it tightly for the rest of her life. She just had to remain alive at any cost—that was the most essential thing at the moment. And what came after that, was escaping.
But first, she had to remain alive.
Even if that meant adding one last tragic act, completing the great ending that would make her life play whole.
And that last act would involve kneeling, kissing of the hand, spilling crocodile tears, justifying and probably begging for forgiveness. To sum up, a real feast for the eyes.
And yet something held her back from putting her plan into action—
Even though it wasn't uncommon for her, starting a new life would mean changing name and identity.
But if she wasn't Milady De Winter anymore, who would she be—what was in store for her?
It would also mean having to face the world all over again, this time without the prestige, wealth and protection that being an employee of the two second most powerful men of France and England meant. She was not sure if she was ready for that.
At that moment, she had a strange flashback, to a place that somehow she didn't know if she had ever been.
Yet another time, she had been involved in this dilemma.
In that spacious room filled with the humid morning air of Venice, she had asked him: "so what's next", and he had responded: "wherever they send us, whatever France needs".
It's who we are; it's what we do—
Back then the sacrifice had been too big.
She had pictured her life beside him.
One of the things that she had dreaded most would come true.
She would live in someone else's shadow, completely depending on him. And what was more, having these unsorted perturbing feelings for him.
One may call it fear, but she had called her successive actions rationality.
And whatever it was, it had lead to the result of her betrayal.
She had watched him collapse onto the floor; eyes wide open, witnessing his lover's treachery.
At that moment, she had put a block of ice in her chest, to substitute for her heart. She had hoped that one day heart and ice would become one.
She hadn't thought about it; she had just committed the act, because on the contrary, she would have run to impede her lover from falling. She had remained firm since this was strictly business.
How would he react if they met again— would he try to correct his mistake for not killing her—?
No, she had to avoid meeting him. She might not survive their next encounter.
But above all, she had been wrong. There, in the loneliness of her cell, on a hostile ship, miles away from home, her heart still beat, screaming out his name.