Second Chances

A woman cried in pain. The contractions came closer and closer. Her face was streaked with sweat and tears, her hair was a mess of red on the bed.

"Just a little push, and the baby will be out madam." said the midwife.

It was a longer labor than what it was supposed to be, and she knew that. It was moments like this that she wished she was still a young girl on her small French village with no responsibility. But, like always, it had befallen on her to tell the husband the news. Only one of them would survive.

"It will be God's choice." she remembered him saying with tears on his eyes. And now he was outside the room waiting for the answer. The woman cried in pain again and with all her might pushed the baby out of her. A girl came out. A little girl with the same color hair as her mother.

"It's a girl." she told the dying woman. With what little strength she had left, the woman raised her head and the midwife brought her the baby.

"Elizabeth Amira. Tell my husband that will be her name… please tell him." it seemed so important to her, naming this little creature that couldn't care less what people called her, but still she nodded. Experience told her that a dying persons wishes should always be granted. She put the baby on a servants hands and went to try and help the woman, it was too late, her dying breath was her child's name.

With sorrow and regret she went outside. And there was the Father waiting for the news, his eyes became a sea of tears and he took the baby gently on his arms.

"What should I do with you?" he asked to the now sleeping baby. "What should I even call you?" the midwife remembered the Mother's wishes and boldly told him.

"Elizabeth Amira. Your wife wanted you to call her that." she said.

"Lady Elizabeth Amira Montague." he said smiling on his sorrow.

11 years later

"Lizzy!!!! Lizzy darling, where are you hiding?" called a man of about 53 years. He heard a soft giggling sound from behind the curtain and a smile graced his lips. "Now where could have my little princes gone off to?" more giggling noises were heard.

He swiftly made his way to where his daughter was hiding, behind the curtain, he opened it and caught her by the waist.

"I've got you now little Princess. Who would you call to rescue you now?" he said and started tickling his daughter.

"Papa no, do not do that Papa." said the fiery red haired and violet eyed girl

"Will you come willingly with me then?" she continued to move. Trying to escape, but it was no use, he was too big

"I Sir am a Lady. I do what I want when I want to." it was moments like this that this little woman remembered him so much of his dead wife.

She had the same fierce spirit, humble expectations and willingness to do what was right (as he saw when she stepped between a Christian man and a Muslim one to prevent the later to cause the other harm)

"Well little Lady, it's time for you to take your history lessons."

"Ah Papa, why? Monsieur Lecleark is very boring, why don't you teach me?"

"I have to go see the King in Jerusalem. And don't worry you'll join me in some days."

"But Papa, why can't I go with you now? Who will continue giving me sword lessons?" he remembered the day when she had told him to give her Fencing Classes. She had walked into his study while he was working on his research and told him that she believed that, as a Lady, she should learn to defend herself and that being the case, she should learn to use swords.

"The time will pass fast my Daughter. Do not worry yourself."

"Fine Papa, but you must promise to take me exploring once we are there."

"Very well. Now, History awaits."

The Kings Court, Jerusalem

"Right this way Lord Montague, His Majesty will arrive shortly." said a short and plump man servant. Lord Henry Montague made his way to the Library of the King, he didn't know why he had been asked to come in such a short time and it unnerved him. He heard a door open an there was the King of Jerusalem, in all his glory.

"Lord Montague, how long has it been?" the Lord bowed down to his King

"Almost five years, my Lord." the king made his way to the seating area of the office and bid Henry to sit next to him.

"My, my, that long? Pray tell how is your daughter?"

"She's fine. She's her mothers daughter."

"Yes, Nahim… She was a Muslim, was she not?"

"Yes she was."

He had never liked the way people asked that. Yes, she was a Muslim woman, married to a Christian man, but that didn't mean that he was a sinner. He also didn't like people asking about his daughter, his prized possession, what he loves more in the world, something he'll never depart of on his heart and who shall only have the best.

"I do not enjoy petty games Henry. She had leprosy did she not?" the Lord paled remembering the last months of his wife pregnancy, when the illness had shown itself.

"I do not see how this has anything to do with us, my King."

"Oh, but it does. I hear that you've been making studies of this illness. Tell me, what kind of achievements you've had on it's treatment?" the King seemed oddly interested on such a mundane thing that it gave him a bad feeling.

"I have not reached anything that can cure it, but I'm optimistic that I will in the future."

"I want to make a proposition to you. I'll give you anything you need to continue your research of this illness, with the promise that when you find anything that could cure it, you will give it to me. And in return of this favor we shall have an arrange marriage."

Henry thought it was to good to be truth, he could finally have everything he need to find a cure. But a marriage of whom with whom; he suddenly didn't like the Kings proposition at all, but he paid no heed to it. If he couldn't trust his King, then who could he trust?

"A marriage between whom?" he asked, still a bit concerned

"Why, a marriage between your daughter and my son of course." the only thought on Henry's mind was his daughter marry prince Baldwin, he could dance with joy.

His daughter would become the Queen of Jerusalem and best of all she wouldn't be to far from him to see her regularly. Suddenly his Father instincts were on alert, what would happen if he didn't find a cure? And another question, why was the King interested in a cure for leprosy? He pushed this last question out of his mind, why should that matter to him?

"But, what will happen if I don't find a cure?" he asked

"Then your daughter will still marry my son. Are we agreed?" Lord Montague for being so knowledgeable couldn't say no to such an offer, truthfully no one could.

"Very well. My daughter will arrive on two days, I say we let them meet, but we shall not tell them until the day for us to leave arrives."

"Very well." said the King, with a smile on his face. They shook hands and closed the deal, one that would bring ruin to the Montague family.

Author's Note:

I finished seeing Kingdom of Heaven, and thought that I didn't want Baldwin to die, specially so alone. So my muse came up with this story line. This are all actual historical characters but I plan to make the story in AU., keeping as many of the real events as I possibly can.

I hope you enjoy it, and I would like to hear what you think, maybe not now, but in the next chapters when something interesting actually happens.

I wish God's blessings upon you all on this season.

Phoenix Nephthys