Chapter One

It was a dark day indeed. The clouds were dark with the promise of rain. The perfect backdrop for this day.

Danielle's little 'episode', shall we say, had caused quite a disturbance in the De Ghent household. Rodmilla had realized that she was losing control of her stepdaughter and something needed to be done. Especially when Marguerite was so close to winning the crown.

Quickly deciding on what should be done, Rodmilla waited until she was sure on of her servants would see, and pulled out Danielle's dress again. Hearing Louise calling for her 'mistress', Rodmilla smiled to herself. It was going well.

"What do you think you are doing?" Danielle asked, entering Marguerite's and Jacqueline's bedroom.

"Trying on my dress," Marguerite replied smartly.

"Did you honestly think after that performance this morning that I'd let you go anywhere?"

"Do you honestly think these games, these intrigues are going to wins you a crown? To hunt royalty like some sport, it's disgusting!"

"You just jealous," Marguerite informed her.

"These are my mother's," Danielle held up the shoes.

"Yes," Marguerite's tone was sweet and brutal at the same time, "And she's dead,"

Danielle looked disbelieving at her for a few seconds before walking steadily over to her. She pulled back her fist and hit Marguerite straight in the eye. Marguerite flew backwards over the bed.

"I'm going to rip your hair out!"

Marguerite scream and yelled for her mother to help before she flew down the stairs. Finding no where else to go, Marguerite found sanctuary in the dining room. Seeing Utopia sitting on a chair, she picked it up and held it over the fire.

"Get away from me or so help me God!"

"No, Marguerite, don't! Put it down!"

"Give me the shoes!"

"Put it down!"

"Consider carefully, Danielle," Rodmilla strode into the room, pushing past the servants, "Your father's book or you mother's shoes. Though neither will save you from a sound lashing!"

Danielle slowly handed over the shoes. Marguerite, still angry, threw the book onto the fire. Danielle screamed but Rodmilla stopped her from reaching into the fireplace and trying to retrieve it. As Danielle sobbed, sympathy could be seen mirrored in Jacqueline's face.

While Marguerite and Rodmilla were at tea with the queen, Jacqueline cleaned Danielle's back. The two girls shared a special moment, remembering Marguerite's unique grace after getting punched.

Once she felt Danielle's back had been tended to, to the best of her abilities, Jacqueline left Danielle alone. Danielle quickly dressed once again in the outfit of a courtier and went to find Henry in the ruins at Amboise.