Princess Isabelle, once of Spain but now of England, paced the confines of her elegant room. She repeatedly stopped at the window and looked out. There was still no sign of him but she knew he would come. He always did.
While she kept one eye on the window, she kept one ear open to hear the sounds of the light footsteps running, always running, down the hall. She waited for the door to burst open and a young woman to run in. But the door never burst open.
At last she stopped her pacing and let her head rest against the window pane. A faraway look filled her eyes as she let herself drift away. Far away…from England.
She had been fifteen when the Earl of Glensdale had presented his nephew to her. She had been fascinated by William Wallace's untamed spirit and his wild blue eyes. Five months later, Isabelle had been forced to tell her parents that she was with child. And nine months later, a beautiful baby girl was born to the Princess of Spain. She had named the girl Skye, because her bright blue eyes looked like the sky on a clear day.
Twelve years later, William Wallace had returned to Scotland and despite the fact that she had a child, Isabelle was married to Henry, Prince of England. She had agreed to marry the Prince on one condition: her daughter came with her. And so Isabelle had been plunged into a nightmare that had only one light: the sweet, fierce girl with eyes so like those of her Father's.
For all his cruelty, King Edward Longshanks, had one small spot of goodness. For his bastard grandchild, Skye.
Longshanks looked Isabelle over. "And where is the bastard girl you have brought along with you?" he demanded.
A graceful ten year old stepped forward and dipped a slight curtsey. When she rose, Edward was astounded by the look of fierce rebellion that glowed in her remarkable eyes. "Leave us!" he ordered, never taking his eyes from the girl. "The girl will stay."
Isabelle paled visibly. "What!" She stared at her father-in-law of one hour.
Longshanks looked at her. "I said leave us!"
Even Henry frowned. "Father…" he began.
"Get out, all of you! I wish to speak to this girl alone."
Skye looked at her mother and raised her chin. "I shall be fine, mother," she said calmly, her Spanish accent tinged her voice richly. She smoothed her pale blue dress with calm hands.
Henry took Isabelle's arm and hurried her from the room.
At last there where just two people in the room.
Longshanks studied Skye. His sharp eyes took in her slim nose, high cheek bones, firm but pretty mouth, small waist, and her eyes. "You're pretty for a bastard."
"You're rather handsome for being an old Englishman," Skye shot back.
Longshanks' eyebrows rose. "You dare speak to a king thus?"
"I am a Princess of Spain. You dare call me a bastard?"
Longshanks rose and walked around her. "Are you betrothed to anyone, girl?"
"No, my lord. I have been granted the right to chose my own husband."
"My Grandfather, the King of Spain."
"I hear you are quite the wealthy girl. What title do you have?"
"I am the Countess of Belle Nota in Spain and the Duchess of Bella Callagone in Scotland. I also lands in England."
Longshanks grabbed her chin with his gnarled fingers and forced her to look at him.
Skye raised an eyebrow. "Do you like what you see, my lord?" she taunted.
"I do. You have spirit, I'll give you that."
"And you have no manners!" snapped Skye. "Unhand me!"
"You are a feisty bitch, make no mistake!"
Skye slapped him and surprised, he let go of her. "You are never to touch me again." Her eyes where blazing.
"Tis treason to strike the king."
"Then hang me and watch what happens." Skye looked at him for a long moment. "May I retire?" she asked coldly.
"No." Longshanks rubbed his cheek ruefully. Never had a woman struck him before. "You are a brave girl, Skye of Spain. A very brave girl."