Chapter 21

"Monarchy is the most powerful thing on earth."

~ James I of England

BELLA

August 18th 1607

It was the moment and I was as sure as God reigns that my heart would spill from my chest on to the ground shattering like glass. Over the weeks I had held my tongue; I had smiled when appropriate, given my time to those in need and prayed until my knees were sore. But nothing could change our fates.

"Your majesty." The guards straightened as I approached our chamber doors nodding politely I held my breath as I entered.

I was not sure why maybe it was my desire to keep from screaming or maybe this was the person I had now become. I watched them, his servants, as they placed the armor upon him piece by shining silver piece. When I awoke this morning he was gone as in most days. If he did not return before the break of dawn I would seek after him, dragging him from his plans and godforsaken bloody maps.

"Leave us." I said to them clasping on to my own hands.

All of them turned to me not sure when I had entered as though I were a ghost only haunting my very own room.

None of them moved.

"I said leave us!" I yelled and without hesitation they ran from our room.

"Bloody brilliant love, now how does thy suppose I shall wear all this armor?" Edward snickered fastening the ties for the arm of is armor.

"How can thy jest at this such a moment?" All he did was anger me! He was to leave me for war and he couldn't even seem to muster up an ounce of sorrow.

Frowning he came to me placing his hands on my arms; "Wife breathe—"

"No! I shall have my say before thou are cold and dead and I'm widowed! I do not wish to breathe, I do not wish for anything else but an end to this bloody foolishness!"

"And this foolishness you speak of? A war, battles all fought in honor of our land, our people…"

"Bloody foolishness all the same."

His jaw tightened as he pulled away from me; "What shall thou have me do Isabella? Should I concede my country to Phillip? What shall become of me then?"

"Thou shall remain with me." I swallowed fighting the damn tears building in my eyes. "Alive."

"Selfishness does not suit thee."

"I care not." I stepped closer to him; "Just do not go. What good is it to be king if thou will not allow others who love and cherish thee to fight in your stead. Do not go."

"Isabella…" He came forward cupping my cheek; "We are married because I put love before country. I must go. Thou knows I must go and I know thee would not look at me the same should I stay for I could not face myself."

He was a fool…but so was I.

"What shall I name our child should thee not return?" I whispered my hands travelled to my stomach.

He froze but only for a moment stepping back and looking me over. But I could not met his gaze I looked away.

"You are with child?"

I nodded. But apparently he needed to see my face because he gently tilted my chin so I could see him.

"You are with child?" He asked with so much joy I almost felt guilty. This is all I had spoken for, wished for, and now it didn't seem as important with him leaving.

"Aye, a child who may—" He placed his finger upon my lips silencing me.

"I will not have thee taint the most joyous moment of my life with thy doubt." He whispered before kneeling before me his hands went straight to my stomach and finally he noticed the bump.

"How have I not known?"

"The castle has been speaking only about war. It was easily overlooked." It was the only good thing I had left.

He kissed my stomach before rising and grin so wide his green eyes glistened and his face seemed to glow; "I must go, now more than ever. Who am I to throw away my son's birth right?"

I fought a smile; "It shall be a girl. I say it and therefore it must come to pass."

He snickered; "It would seem thou have learned something from me wife."

"I've learned much from you husband, and do not ever wish to stop."

"Then have faith in me. There is nothing on this earth that can stop me from returning to you." He kissed my head.

"I know you must go." I tried to say with a clear voice; "It is right and it is good. It is what all good kings ought to do. I know. Everything thy has done Edward I've been so proud of…no in awe of…so much so I wonder how we ever came to be—"

"Thy must know wife, everything I have done, and everything I have fought for has been because of thee. You are my rock…"

I frowned glaring at him; "I am trying to allow you to go but when you speak of such things my heart aches for you to stay! Damn it all Edward! If you do not return to me I swear I shall bloody curse you every day until I join you!"

"I shall return." He kissed my lips quickly.

"You must swear it."

He didn't. He just kissed me again.

"Edward—"

"I swear I shall do everything within my power to return to you, nevertheless—"

"No nevertheless!"

He took my hand leading me to the drapes behind the bed. Pushing the iron candle rod that hung there the stones of the walls moved opening into a passage way, with webs filling the entrance and echoes of water dripping even deeper inside.

"Should I not return, or the castle is ever under siege I wish for you to take whatever you can, take our child…our child." He smiled at that, "Escape. These passages will lead you straight to the sea. You will hide until either I return or our son becomes of age and takes what is his. Do you understand me?"

I did not wish to think about it. I did not wish to think of any of this. But I nodded all the same. Spinning me back into his arms he held on to me tightly.

"All will be well."

"All will be well." I repeated. It had to be.

EDWARD

August 18th 1607

Guilt pounded into me like water upon rocks. For weeks nothing had captured my mind more than this war. Ships were bought, men and horses all acquired. I had worked myself to the point of exhaustion and this was only the beginning. She had been there every moment seeing to my well-being but not once I had noticed her condition or her, truly. She had spent her time with the people, giving food and listening to their complainants. I was grateful for her of course, pleased with her never-ending strength….and now it seemed neither of us was as strong as we tried to seem.

"Is thee ready?" She smiled coming up beside me, standing once again tall and strong, unlike the woman who had begged me to stay moments earlier. Taking her hand I kissed it.

"No. But we have no choice in the matter."

"What shall you say?" She whispered as her arms wrapped around me. We walked together towards the balcony and already I could hear the whispers of all those gathered. The men about to leave their wives and the wives who were to lose their husbands…sons.

"A very fine speech was given to me by the counsel—"

She stopped right before we reached the doors pulling me back; "Was that the letter I read upon your desk?"

"I believe so."

"Edward, you can not tell them that it is their duty to serve the Monarchy!"

"But it is?"

She shook her head at me; "Edward, they know it is their duty. They know how great their country is. How great thou are. When thou speak to them they want to know why it is they are going to war. They want to know what you are going to do for their families in their absence."

"You tell me this now?" Now that we stood at the threshold, of all of England.

She grinned; "Your words have never failed you before I am sure they will not fail you now. You do not need a counsel to tell you what you would like to hear in the face of war."

Sighing I shook my head at her leading her forward.

"Their royal majesties King Edward and Queen Isabella." They cheered while all I could do was stare at all of the people gathering not only in the square but the men at the gates, each one of them with my seal on their backs. Bella let go of me gently moving to stand in front of Esme, Rose and Alice while my brother, uncle and cousin, all stood waiting, they too in armor.

I opened my mouth to speak but I was not sure what to say to them.

"My wife believes this war is bloody foolishness…." I said aloud causing more than a fair share of gasps.

I looked to Bella who fought the grin on her face as she tried to be appalled.

"And I tend to agree with her." I added with a frowned. "There is no reason for our sons, our men, to give their lives for this war. A war I have never wished for and sought to end this before it ever came this far. Had King Philip only insulted I, my pride would have not taken any wound from it. Many of you wonder had I not married the French princess would we not be speared this. That I should have put Country before love, however to those I say I simply cannot. For many of the ways I love my queen I love our England, Our Scotland, and Our Ireland. Not mine. Not King Phillips, but ours and as with all things I love I shall lay down my life to see to it that they, no matter what, continue to have a country that is theirs. For them, for their children and their children after them. For hundreds of years we have stood together, we have fought back the greed of the French who wish not to live in peace. Kings that care so little for their own people that they would sacrifice them for their own need for power and gluttony. King Phillip believes because I am young, that I am weak. But he does not see the giants, the greatness that I simply stand in front of. I ask you to fight not for me but with me. For there are no greater people in all of the world."

I stepped back almost knocked over by my own words. Bella came up beside me once again wrapping her arms around me.

"Long live King Edward, forever may he reign!" She yelled her smile larger than I had ever seen.

"Long live King Edward, forever may he reign!"

"Long live King Edward, forever may he reign!"

"Long live King Edward, forever may he reign!"

BELLA

August 18th 1607

I watched as they brought his horse and I fought the urge to run my hand through its coat. I had not ridden since I found out of my condition. When Edward looked to me I nodded squeezing my own hand.

"Emmett shall be staying back with you." He said to me….this was our final goodbye.

I looked to Emmett who did not seem pleased with the new and sudden changed.

"Edward, Hal and Hart—"

"I need to know you are safe. As much as I trust the guards I know my brother shall protect you…the both of you in my stead."

Sighing I nodded pulling my ring and placing it in his hand; "Thy must bring this back to me. It is one the most priceless things in my possession."

He looked at the very same ring he had given me and smiled kissing me deeply, then once more softly before finally pulling away. "I swear to thee milady I shall."

"That is all I ask." I smiled before stepping back allowing him to return to his horse.

Watching him mount I held on to my chest.

"He shall be well. They shall all be well." Esme came up beside me.

"He has no choice." I told her. "We are not to move until each one of them passes from the walls."

"Of course your majesty." I could hear her smile as she turned back to speak to the rest of them.

Emmett came and stood next to me.

"I know thou wished to go, but I am grateful thy is here with me nonetheless" I said to him

"There is no greater honor than protecting the queen and a sister." He replied standing at my side.

Nodding to him I watched the men and the horses fade further and further from my view.

God, please protect Edward and our baby. That is all I cared for.


:D I missed you all.