Authors note: I listen to music when I write. The following links to a song that inspired this story. Listen while you read. This is Henry's song.
The song Greensleeves
(in case it doesn't open Youtube -Greensleeves -- By king Singer's)
Part 1: When we meet again
The art gallery was known for showing cutting edge work. Tonight's showing was filled with brilliant work by incredible artists. There was a mixed crowd at the gallery. Sprinkled in among the art critics and news-reporters were average folks. They weren't here to give a review or an opinion. They were just here to enjoy the art. Most of them were congregated around a collection of graphic art displayed near the centre of the gallery. They stood and admired the work with a combined appreciation for the talent and skill.
Jean-Rene studied the pictures with a bemused smile. She had always known he would eventually write their story. It had been one hell of a story. As she stood, looking at the artistic take on it, she was highly amused.
As always, Henry had infused it with his own brand of passion and energy. The man was so much like his father. Henry tempered his passionate nature with the same cool nobility his father had been famous for. But if one got under that flawless skin; you'd stir a temper that would rip a country apart.
But unlike his father, Henry had a compassion that softened his temper and passion. The compassion was his mother's doing. She'd always been a loving, gentle woman. At least, that was how Jean-Rene remembered her.
Jean-Rene chuckled softly to herself as she took in each frame of art. Their story…it had been tremendous, even in their time. Henry had been all fire and wild love. He'd swept into her life like a tornado and taken her heart in a single moment.
Jean-Rene had spent hours arguing with herself. Even now, as she rode the elevator up, she argued. This was a stupid idea…she told herself…he isn't going to remember you. And if he does, well, that's just complicated.
But no matter what she said to herself, her heart refused to listen. Every fiber in her being was yelling at her to see him again. Her mind knew it was a mistake; but nothing she could do would stop her heart.
As the elevator doors opened she stopped breathing for a moment. What if he did remember her? What if the stories she'd heard all those centuries ago were true? What if THIS Henry was the same one she had loved five hundred years ago?
Jean-Rene stepped off the elevator. She was shaking from the inside out. It almost made her smile. All those centuries ago; she had always suffered nerves before seeing Henry. Even after they became lovers she had been nervous. Henry was a powerful personality; to be in his presence was to be in the eye of a storm.
In this modern body and modern time; that hadn't changed. She had to swallow several times before she could breathe again. Her gaze paused on his door. Her hands were trembling. Ok, so she was here, now what? She stood like a fool outside his door. Did she knock? Ring the doorbell? Or did she turn and run? Running was the logical choice.
Even if this was the same Henry; the same proud noble man; he had another woman in his life now. Jean-Rene had seen her at the gallery. Henry cared for this woman; they had something powerful between them. Jean-Rene had no right to step on that. Whatever she and Henry had shared had died almost 5 centuries earlier.
Just as she turned to leave; the door opened. Henry met her eyes. His own widened in shock. She forced herself not to throw herself into his arms.
"Jean-Rene?" He whispered her name as if she were a dream.
"Your grace," Her body curtsied automatically; it didn't require thought. "Forgive me for interrupting you."
Henry was grinning as she straightened, He reached out and his fingers touched her hands. They were trembling and warm. "Come in."
"I-" Jean-Rene let him lead her into the apartment. "I am sorry for-"
"Shh," Henry touched a finger to her lips, "Let me look at you."
The feel of his fingers on her lips made her heart stop. They were the same hands; it was him, the real Henry. The stories had been true all those centuries before.
"You look just as I remember." He whispered softly, "But how? You're human."
"I don't know your Grace."
He smiled at her, "Call me Henry. You know you can."
Jean-Rene nodded, "Sorry, its automatic."
"You always were polite." He grinned at her, "Most of the time."
She smiled at him, "I really am sorry about hitting you with the wine. I was aiming for Lord Charlie."
Henry laughed, remembering the night they had met. "It was a good wine, I don't mind."
He led her to the couch. She didn't sit right away; instead she looked around.
"So you were reincarnated with all of your memories?" He asked.
"I was this time." She said gently, eyeing the art on his walls. "Not always."
"That's why I never saw you again." Henry muttered gently.
"Partly," She admitted, "I also just didn't look for you. I thought you were dead."
Jean-Rene crossed the room; studying his drawings. "When I saw the exhibit for your latest work; I decided to take a chance. No one else could draw what you did."
Henry followed her, "Well, I did have to tone it down."
Jean-Rene blushed automatically. She turned to look at him. Henry was dressed in blue jeans and a t-shirt; very casual. The clothes made him look young. He had been young when he'd died that day.
"I liked you in a doublet." She muttered softly.
Henry gently touched a hand to her cheek. "You liked me out of it."
Her cheeks flushed again; she looked away from him as her lips smiled softly. "You were always so bold."
"You brought it out in me." He gently cupped her face; moving closer to her. "Jean-Rene, I can't believe it's you."
She let him pull her close. Her senses drowned in him. The warmth of his hands; the smell of his skin, the memories of their love…it was all so powerful.
"Henry," She whispered his name; as she had done for countless lives. "I-"
Henry kissed her; it was gentle. If she had wanted to, she could have pushed him away. She could have stopped it. But nothing in her wanted it to stop.
Slowly she let her hands touch his body; smoothing around his ribcage to rest on his back. It was the same back; the muscles were still strong, the skin still warm.
She leaned into his kiss and passion flooded her mind. "Henry…"
Jean-Rene woke sharply and stared at the unfamiliar ceiling. The arms around her were cool and solid as rock. She turned her head and stared at the handsome face of Henry. She blinked and shook her head; but he was still there. This wasn't a dream or a memory…this was reality. She touched a hand to his face; tracing the strong cheek bones, the proud profile. He had so much of his father in him…It made her shudder to think of the once great King of England.
She lay in the circle of Henry's arms and let the past go. The King was long since dead. He couldn't hurt them now. Jean-Rene smiled gently as she touched a finger to Henry's curls. This was real; this man she had loved was still real.
Jean-Rene closed her eyes with a smile on her face. For the first time in centuries she slept in peace.
Sunset came and Henry woke with a gasp. It was the same way he had stirred for the last 5 centuries. Only tonight he found himself with company. She lay in his arms; huddled up to his body and smiling.
"Jean-Rene?" He touched a hand to her face; she was warm and real. Henry leaned close and drew in a deep breath. Her scent was still intoxicating to him.
It wasn't the smell of her blood that he loved; the hunger did stir deep within him. What he loved was the scent of her. Jean-Rene had always smelled of roses and lavender. As if she had walked through a garden just before coming to his arms. She smelled of warmth; of love and of joy. She had always been so joyful. Her laughter was infectious and bright; her smile was gentle and welcoming.
Henry held her close to him. He had fallen in love with her centuries before; and now, that love burned in his chest. It was as if she had never left him.
As he cuddled her; his hunger woke. He would never feed from her without permission; but that would mean he would have to leave her. He didn't want to leave. He wanted to stay with her and never let go. But with each passing minute; his hunger grew. He would have to leave. Fortunately he knew this city; it was his ground. He wouldn't have to go far for a bite.
Henry returned to find his bed empty. For an instant his chest was tight with fear; had she left him? After an instant of very human fear; he heard her heartbeat. She was in the shower.
A moment later the bathroom door opened. She came out; oblivious to him.
He studied her from the entrance. Jean-Rene's dark hair was long; well past her shoulders, almost to her hips. She didn't bother with a towel. Her figure was a breath-taking hour-glass; with curves in all the right places.
By today's standards she'd be seen as over-weight or too curvy. But in his day, women like her had been sought after and envied. Women who shared her figure-shape had been models for some of the most famous paintings.
Henry smiled as he crossed his arms. She moved around his room with complete comfort. She hummed softly; the song was Green Sleeves, she had perfect pitch. Just as he remembered; he had loved her singing voice and often she would sing for him in the garden.
Jean-Rene started to dress.
"I like the view from here." Henry mused; she spun around, startled. "That's even better."
Her face flushed red as she tipped her chin in a shy motion. Henry laughed gently. She had always maintained an innocence despite their passionate love.
He crossed the floor to her; pulling her into his arms. The kiss was deep and hungry. When the kiss broke she was breathless. Henry laughed gently as she managed to look embarrassed yet happy.
"Henry, you still know how to take a girl's breath away." She whispered.
He grinned at her, "That's not all I know how to take." He picked her up and she laughed as he carried her to the bed.
Hours later, Henry sat at his art desk. He was drawing and wearing a huge grin. It was his turn to hum. He hadn't hummed in a very long time.
It was in that very moment that Henry realized something. It was so unexpected that he stopped breathing for a moment.
Before his mind could fully process the thought; his doorbell rang. The sound shouldn't have startled him, but it did. He left his desk and went to the door. It was only as he opened it that he realized he was shirtless. And that really bothered him. Which was odd; especially considering the woman in front of him; Henry stared at Vicki for a long time.
"What took you so long?"
Henry blinked at the sight of Vicki as she stormed into his apartment.
"I tried to call but you didn't answer; and then the door was locked. Since when do you lock your door?"
Henry realized he had locked it for security. Not for him, but for Jean-Rene. He'd thought of her safety.
"I know I didn't wake you. Were you working?" She eyed his half-naked body.
For some reason he was uncomfortable with her scrutiny. He crossed his arms over his chest and stared at her.
"Yes, actually I was." He didn't keep the annoyance out of his voice. "What are you doing here, Vicki?"
She was surprised at his sharp tone and cold demeanor. "I wanted to go over the Wilson case with you. Another girl disappeared last night; Mike thinks that the Wilson girl is dead already."
Henry frowned; but not in a good way. So this is what his existence had come to? Working with Vicki to find dead people and contending with her bonehead partner; who was still in love with her. And he knew for a fact, Vicki still cared for Mike. She resisted Henry; she didn't want to admit she liked him. But she had no trouble with Mike.
How had he come to this?
Anger slapped at his thoughts as he frowned harder.
Vicki realized something was off with Henry. "You okay?"
He forced himself not to yell at her. He didn't want Vicki here right now. She was invading his home with her presence and it annoyed him. Not only that, but in the back of his mind he knew that Vicki brought danger with her…danger that could hurt Jean-Rene and that annoyed him even further.
"Now's not a good time, Victoria." He went to the door and opened it.
She stared at the open door. Henry was never this short with her. He had a temper, she knew that. But he really seemed angry with her tonight.
"Ok, I'll go." She held up her hands and made her way to the door. She paused as she passed him, "Just don't forget about the case."
Henry slammed the door in her face and locked it.
"Henry?" Jean-Rene's voice instantly calmed him, "Am I keeping you from something?"
He turned and instantly felt better. Crossing to her; he wrapped himself in her arms; resting his head on her shoulder. He held her and reveled in the lush feel of her body.
"I want to hold you." He whispered.
"You are already," She gently stroked his hair.
The motion soothed him; his shoulders relaxed, tension draining from him. She was the only one who had ever done that with him. Such a tender and loving motion; and it soothed him so deeply.
They stood in his living room; Henry clutching her close, Jean-Rene soothing him with her gentle hands.
"You were upset a moment ago. Are you alright?" She asked quietly, "Perhaps I should leave?"
"NO!" He held her tighter on reflex.
"Ow, Henry, I can't breathe."
He gently eased his grip, "Sorry. But I don't want you leaving."
"Alright, for now I won't leave. Who was that woman?"
Henry closed his eyes, "No one. Come, I want to kiss you again." He picked her up and carried her back to the bedroom.
"You're still insatiable, my Lord." Jean-Rene was laughing as he kissed her mouth.
Over the next few days, Henry left Jean-Rene only to feed. Otherwise he locked himself in his home with her in his arms.
Jean-Rene drew in a deep breath as Henry broke the kiss. "You do realize it's been almost a week."
"So?" He let his finger-tips trace the line of her jaw, "Do you have somewhere to be?"
"No, but don't you?"
"No." He kissed her again, "I am right where I want to be."
"Henry," She gently put her hands on his chest to stop him from kissing her again. "I heard what the woman said; you're supposed to be helping her on a case, aren't you?"
He frowned at Jean-Rene. "I can do whatever I please."
Jean-Rene recognized that sharp tone; she'd annoyed him. "I am not saying you can't. I am just asking a question."
"Well don't ask about her." He climbed out of bed; stood up and pulled on a pair of jeans.
"Henry, please." She gently grabbed his hand; he let her pull him back to the bed. He sat on the edge; she cuddled against his bare back.
"I am sorry. But, I don't want to interrupt your life."
He turned his head; cupping her cheek in his hand. "I had no life until you came back."
"You have your art-work."
"That's no life, Jean-Rene." He kissed her lips gently. "I never felt anything until you appeared. These last few days; I have felt more alive and human then I had ever dreamed possible. I don't want to loose that."
Jean-Rene rested her head in his hand, "Henry, I know what you mean. This past week…I am terrified of loosing it. But you can't hide here with me for ever."
He tensed and turned away from her. "Don't give me orders."
She sighed and was again reminded of his father. The two men had much in common. She tried another approach.
"Come now, my lord. Would you forget the duty to others?"
He shot her a cold look, "Jean-Rene…"
"What?" She asked lightly, "You would turn away from someone in need?'
He stood up and stalked
toward her; she met his stare and he stopped.
"Don't try to bully me, Henry John Fiztroy."
He stopped in his tracks and smirked at her, "That's more like it."
He grabbed her and kissed her with such force she moaned. He gripped her tightly to his body.
Pulling back Henry chuckled at her dazed expression. "For who but my lady Greensleeves would I bow before?" He gently let her go, she sank to the bed, a hand to her cheek.
"You are my heart of gold; Alas my love you do me wrong, to cast me off so dispassionately." He stepped back from her. Before turning his back to her and heading for the door.
Her soft voice held perfect tune as she sang, "Your vows you've broken like my heart. Oh why did you so enrapture me; now I remain in a world apart; but my heart remains in captivity."
Henry stopped at the song; so many memories came back to him. The warm summer afternoons they had spent in the Royal Gardens; the endless hours they had whispered poetry to each other; the passionate love they made each night. He turned and looked back at her; she sat on his bed, watching him. Her face wore an expression he had seen before. The same expression their last night together before Christina had claimed him.
Henry knelt before her, "As my love you do me wrong; and I have lov'ed you so long, delighting in your company." He gently cupped her face and tenderly kissed her lips. "Jean-Rene, I have much to make up to you."
"No, dearest, you don't." She placed her hands over his.
"I have missed you so." He sat beside her on the bed and held her to him. "So much in me has died since those distant days. I had forgotten what it was to love."
"You would never forget that, for you are Henry. You love as you breathe." She whispered, "But perhaps you have come to expect pain in return for such love."
Henry was struck by he words. He had forgotten how wise Jean-Rene could be.
"So much like your father you are." She said quietly, "My beautiful Prince."
He held her for a long time. Letting the past roll around his mind; he remembered their human day and how happy he had been with her. In the back of his mind he heard the haunting tune of their song.
After a long silence, Jean-Rene spoke gently. "That Vicki-woman will come back, Henry. She obviously expects you to help her with something. If you just disappear she'll wonder why. Would you leave her like that?"
Henry didn't have to think about it. "Yes."
"If you dislike her so much then why did you start helping her?"
He frowned at the question; "It's complicated, Jean-Rene. And besides, the last thing I want is for you to be part of this. I want you and I to be separate from what I have with Vicki."
Jean-Rene sharply pulled back from him, "What you have with Vicki?" Her voice sounded cold. "And what would that be exactly?"
He turned his head; her usually warm eyes were guarded. "Jean-Rene, it's not like that."
"Right," She shook her head and got out of bed on the other side. She started to dress. Henry was reminded that for as many memories as they shared; Jean-Rene had been reincarnated and she was also a 21-century woman.
"Not that I am surprised, I mean come on." Jean-Rene moved angrily as she dressed. "You've always been charming and when you want to be, you can be down-right irresistible." She angrily tied back her hair. "But I will never take second place, Henry." She turned angry eyes on him, "Never."
He moved faster then she could see; her surprise over rode the anger. He kissed her deeply. Her body relaxed into it.
"I would never ask you to." He whispered into her mouth.
"Henry, we can't hide here."
He reluctantly agreed, "I know. How about you come with me to Vicki's office?"
Jean-Rene arched a brow, "Are you sure that's wise?"
"I am just meeting with her. It's nothing more then that. I have nothing to hide from you."
"But you do hide from me, Henry." She cupped his face, "Every night when you leave, you hide from me."
He realized what she meant, "Jean-Rene, I don't want you to ever see that side of me." He held her hands to his face, "Not ever."
"But it's part of you now."
"But it's not part of us." He peered into her eyes, "Please, Jean-Rene, understand, when I am with you I can forget the last 5 centuries. It's like they never happened. I am just Henry; not a vampire-but me."
She sighed gently; "I understand."
"Now, do you wish to come with me or not?"
"Not tonight. I think you should speak to her first."
Henry kissed her again before stepping back. Moving to his closet he took out a button down shirt.
Jean-Rene watched him as he finished getting dressed. She smiled softly, "You always did like the Italian designers."
He looked at her; his smile reaching his eyes. "And you always liked the French."
She laughed, "That was my father's influence." She sighed, eyeing her discarded clothes, "I can't afford them in this life."
Henry could hear the sorrow in her voice. She felt badly because she was poor. He stood, crossing to where she sat on the bed. He gently lifted her chin until he could see her eyes. "It matters not to me. I like you better out of your clothes."
Her face flushed red as she gave an embarrassed smile. "Go now, or I'll make you prove that statement."
"I'll happily oblige when I return."
Henry left his home and for the first time in centuries…he was truly happy. As he made his way to Vicki's office; he let his mind play over this last week with Jean-Rene.
By the time he had reached the office he'd made up his mind. First thing when he got home; he was calling Augustus and starting over with Jean-Rene. Away from this city; away from Vicki. Nothing was going to mess up his happiness. Not this time.
As he walked into the office; he realized it would never be that easy. It was never that easy.