Disclaimer:Only the fic belongs to me.
Everyone moved out of the way as the stately but angry woman came striding past, her temper was legendary; cross her at your great risk and even then the fate of that person would be most uncertain.
Elizabeth Tudor found herself alone, although a queen was never truly alone but right now she was battling rage, grief, and humiliation. Everybody knew not to approach.
How could Bess do this to her? How could Raliegh betray her? She was surrounded by betrayal, ever Sir Francis's brother had had it out for her.
Bess had come to her as a child and become her favorite, she had even seen Bess as her own child, she was now at the age where she could no longer bear a child of her own, a sacrifice she had made and regretted. Bess had become with child by a man, not just any man, but by Raleigh.
Raleigh; Elizabeth's mind spat out the name with sorrow and contempt. For almost five years she'd known him and she had loved him. She had made him Captain of her Royal Guards, and he'd been running around with Bess.
Why hadn't she seen it coming? Why had she lost all control of her heart? She had banished Bess from her life and put Raleigh in the dungeon. They would suffer from their separation and that was the only comfort Elizabeth could find in all this.
She remembered wanting to beat Bess up badly, she probably would've inflicted blood if Francis Walsingham hadn't stopped her. Elizabeth looked out the window at the sunny sky. For a long moment she forgot everything, the execution of Mary, the spanish and the betrayal of two people she had adored.
Francis, the one person she could truly count on. He had been with her from the moment her reign began, and that was nearly thirty years ago. Elizabeth opened her eyes as she recalled Francis telling her to have mercy on Bess. How she had told him to go be with his brother.
William Walsingham had been in the plot to get rid of her, Francis Walsingham had been betrayed by his brother. They were now bonded in a new way. Elizabeth now knew she wanted to see Francis and told one of her other ladies to tell Francis to come to her.
Elizabeth sat in her garden trying to gain some calm in herself, she didn't want to snap at Francis anymore.
Francis Walsingham stood by the entrance watching her, William had been sent to exile to France, and Francis felt pain he would never see his brother again. How William got into the mess he did would forever torment Francis.
The Queen's lady announced his arrival and Francis walked next to her, his walk was not as fluid and graceful as it once was, his health had been turning against him these last few years.
Elizabeth told him to sit next to her and he did, his face was weathered and showing its age, just like hers she thought sadly to herself. She had begun to get concerned by his health. She had noticed his walking troubles.
"You are not well Francis." It wasn't an insult.
"I still have some fight in me." Francis smiled. "I know its the same for you."
Elizabeth smiled; "My Moor I cannot imagine life without you."
"I've given it to you gladly."
Elizabeth sat closer and slowly put her hand on his shoulder, "I'm sorry I yelled at you earlier."
Walsingham nodded; "you are right about my brother being a traitor."
"He's your family Francis, I know putting him in the tower was hard. I don't blame you for his betrayal."
Walsingham banged his fist on his knee, "I should've seen it somehow, before the asassian pointed the weapon at you!"
Elizabeth grabbed both of his shoulders, "I didn't pay close enough attention to the matter of Mary Stuart, my own relative, I too have been betrayed by family and other loved ones.." Elizabeth bit her lip and trailed off.
Francis stood up along with her, "You took a chance with your heart as everyone does." He stroked her face, "I'm sorry you're hurting."
Thier lips were mere inches from each other, "I'm sorry you're hurting to Francis."
The kiss that ensued was tentative but sweet, Elizabeth had dreamed of this man so much in the beginning of her reign, but time changed her and she banished those dreams, tried to forget the desire she felt for a man who could never be hers.
They came for up for air but didn't pull away, "I loved you from the start Elizabeth but I knew I could never tell you. I married Ursula because she reminded me of you."
Elizabeth stroked his face, "I loved you from the start and here we are all these decades later, older but still connected. Time could never destroy our loyalties."
"I'll always love you." He whispered.
"And I you." She whispered in return. She wanted to forget everything, "I'm going to my chambers to rest, will you lie by my side Francis? Even if its just for an hour I want to pretend we can be together."
He nodded knowing he had to seize a chance he would never have again, under the guise of private matters of state they retreated into her chamber after making everyone else leave and laid next to each other and embraced.
They talked about anything they could think off, but the recent betrayals would intrude and tears would be shed, darkness had come outside when Francis sat up, "I must go."
"I know." Elizabeth reached up and they kissed again before she ended it reluctantly. She watched him close the door behind him and after a few more minutes let her ladies into the room.
They helped her get ready for bed and she tried to sleep knowing things would be tough for awhile. The months passed and the spanish invaded, she let Raleigh out to help in the fight and afterwards return home to Bess and the son they had.
But one month later her joy over victory would turn to anguish as Francis's health turned against him and he was soon taken from her. But she would always have their one afternoon together.