Just a reminder, I OWN NONE OF THE CHARACTERS.
The first day of the summit started and ended, and Henry couldn't help but wonder about Catherine. He hadn't heard her comments, or options and it didn't please him as he thought it would. To not have her upend him, but that still begged the question, what was she up to?
Catherine was sitting in Claude's room watching her, as she brushes her hair. Claude still hasn't said a word. Something is wrong; Claude is known for snide remarks especially at her. She turns her head to her mother, her eyes pleading for attention. Catherine pulls Claude's hands raising her up out of her fixture, then she lays her on the couch, goes to her bookshelf where one of the only books she reads is located. Claude lights up like she does on her birthday or Christmas, Catherine hands, 'Whispers in the Woods' to Claude and says, "Read it to me".
As Claude read, they laughed at the antics of their favorite characters, two creatures who 'may' love each other as they sometimes admit in thought, but both Claude and Catherine knew, would fight each other for years in the book. Till they finally uncover the other's feelings and 'ride off into the sunset'. "Claude dear, what is the matter"? Catherine had finally brought her out of her despair and was determined to discover the cause of it. "I haven't been feeling like myself and that's all I'll say now", Claude answered, her voice cold and bold, as it usual was when she answered a question of her mother's.
Catherine shivered; She couldn't tell if it was the cool wind that blew in through the window that burst open or the thought that she had allow her relationship with Claude to disintegrate so, that Claude was defensive around her. "Claude … I… I know we have had a rock relationship, but you and your bothers and sisters mean the world to me", Catherine said with silent tears streaming down her eyes. "Maybe, we could start again", Claude muttered as she rests her head in her mother's lap. To see her mother cry for her, tamed her for a moment, long enough to mutter those words.
"I know I'm a rebel, a wild child, but don't try to control me, don't try to trap me ", she added once Catherine's tears subsided. Catherine decided in that moment that she would build with Claude, the sort of relationship where she would come to her with her feelings, not scared of being ignored or rejected and she hoped soon Claude would tell her exactly what was troubling her. Catherine would soon have troubles of her own as somewhere else someone had become impatient in her plans , because of Catherine herself.
Diane de Poitiers, Henry's main mistress, when he wasn't luring women into his bed. Being Henry mistress was all she had been but not all she ever wanted to be. Catherine had given up on Henry long ago, however, Diane knew he always wanted what he couldn't have, England, Scotland (before Francis married Mary) and if his actions tonight were any indication, Catherine. Diane could tell by his eyes, that fluttered to the door or his lips, that twitched in irritation. Not to mention he told her not to entry his chamber for the night. (She was heading to a different one currently).
She had the desire to be Queen and for her and Henry's son Sebastian to be France's Dauphin. If Henry had affection for his wife and it began to blossom that could spell the end of Diane and maybe even Bash, as with Henry on her side Catherine de' cold-hearted Medici could rain terror on her. As Diane finished her thought the man himself came into view, he was sitting in the garden, far away so he couldn't see her but the smell of burning candles was mangled in the air and the light of the candles bright, which meant she could see him. Diane decided she'd ask after him tomorrow and went off to bed.
After the end of the summit I decided to go straight to my chambers, alone. As I was leaving, Diane approached me hastily, grabbing my hand and asking me where I was headed as she whispered sweet nothings in my ear. I turned to her and said, "Diane, I would like to be alone in my chambers tonight", in a somber voice, that left her eyes wide as she watched me walk off. I laid on my bed, desperate to close my eyes, so that my mixed feelings will leave me till tomorrow, but they wouldn't close. Oh, this is just like Catherine, disappear to get me to pine after you. Then again, she never misses such important things not since our early years.
After tossing and turning for 15 minutes, I decide to get up and read a book to put me to sleep. As I read, I pace around the room, some fresh air may help. The guards are exchanging glance as I pass them, "Your… Majesty", A young man muttered, dressed in his breast plate and the tradition colors. "You're a new guard correct", I asked. The young man shakes his head, seemingly shocked that I, the King, spoke to him. "Earn your keep and get me two candles please.
He scurried off and just as quickly returned with two candles with still fresh flame. I took them from he and raised my hand to send him back to his post. I walk for a bit till I was near the Royal Gardens, the queens of France always managed the gardens and Catherine was no different. My mother died before I became King and so Catherine had to manage them while she was still dauphine, rallying the gardeners, choosing flowers, and then there was us, me, and her.
We used to dance in the gardens often, as I walk in, I still feel her hand caress my cheek, the sparkle in her eyes, pressing her against me as we swayed. Those days were our happiness, mostly before Bash, the child never asked to be here nor to be a bastard. I'm the cause of this unhappiness between us I suppose. But then again did I even love her or her love me. I sit thinking, barely acknowledging the book till my eyes weigh down on me.
Claude is fast asleep on my lap; I think I should stay let her wake up to me here after tonight's confessions. She is in her night gown but I'm still wearing my formal wear. I called after her servants instructing them to draw me a bath and get my servants to come dress me. As I lay on the bed next to Claude I couldn't sleep. My mind's nasty thoughts couldn't be kept at bay. How could I do this? How? How?
I am her mother, to be her biggest ally and fierce protector, the only full-time parent she had. Henry loved his children, of that I'm was sure, but he never had enough time for them because of his heck schedule and his women and worst of all Diane. What I wouldn't give to erase her, destroy her hold on Henry; But my husband loves all, all his children and that includes Bash. Not that Henry would allow me to get rid of the woman who made me a third wheel in our marriage anyway.
'Does he love Diane'? No, he couldn't possibly, he wasn't faithful to her. Sure, she was the most frequent occupant of his bed, but she wasn't the only and may not even be the last, once she showed her age Henry would dispense with her, like an old dress or used cloth. I however, would always have a place, not in his heart or by side but on the throne beside his and when he was gone as Queen Mother of France. Diane however couldn't boast of such a thing.
Between me and Diane I'm sure I'm the luckier but for some reason it never feels like it. Anyway, I still have my children, little pieces of Henry and me, I may not have him, but I'll have them till I leave this world. They must be enough; they are enough. Catherine said it to herself, willing it into existence, as she held Claude close and slept.