Dear David,

A month has gone by since I've been banished from Altar Palace to Austeria, and you would never believe who has come to visit me here. Mother, Queen Rose! There was no formal announcement of her arrival; she came under the cover of darkness to the house to check on me. She just popped her head in while I was sleeping. She is placing a great deal of faith in the Jordan family by visiting, but I'm glad to see her, one friendly face from my home so far away.

I never thought I would be so happy to see my mother, or that she would go to such great lengths to see me. She always seemed to favor Jack over me whenever something would come up at home. Father would always gravitate to me; I suppose that she thought she was compensating by doting on Jack.

Jack has fallen out of favor with the family in the most terrible way – or at least that's what Mother tells me. Still under house arrest, he is stripped of nearly everything but his title. Father doesn't trust him, and mother seems to believe that he has found a new 'son' in cousin Andrew. Mother says that Andrew was quick to turn in his father William. Mother says that Father is intent on tracking down Uncle William no matter what the cost and Andrew is willing to aide him in his efforts. Only Mother knows where he is, and she is telling no one, not even me.

I can feel my body changing every day and feel that I will begin to show any day now. Mother came to plot with me about what to do with the child when he or she is born. She says that the child, bastard or not, is a rightful heir to the Benjamin throne, and that it may be my only chance to have a child – given my previous health history. She wants to create a 'distant relative' and have us raise their child due to an untimely death on their part. I don't care what the reasoning is as long as I get to keep the baby – it's the only part of you that I have left now.

Mother says that she doesn't know when she will be able to see me again. She's afraid to leave Father's side for too long: his health is not well, he is under great stress. Mother says that he blames lack of good religious council. He hasn't been able to latch onto another reverend since Reverend Samuels passed away. Sometimes I wonder if he and I pray to the same God.

I continue to pray for your safety and our reunion each night. Having Mother leave is an awful feeling. I feel closure to her now than I ever have before. It's a shame that took an exile to bring us together. I have underestimated her love for me and I regret the many years that we battled one another at Altar Palace.

Stay safe, wherever you are.

~Your Michelle