Henry paced his bedroom, two weeks had passed since his Danielle went missing. Henry had grown irritable with the lack of information about his wife. She was the Dauphine of France for God's sake! Henry swiped his hand across the table, scattering the books, sewing, and flowers to the floor. Henry fell to his knees, sobbing as he reached for Utopia. Clutching it to his chest, he sobbed on the floor, spying the cradle that had made Danielle so happy.
God let Danielle be safe, not harmed. I beg you God please let my wife and child be safe.
Henry lost track of time. He didn't know how long he knelt there on the floor, holding the book, looking at the cradle. He suddenly felt a hand on his shoulder, and smelt Danielle's perfume. His heart jumped and he clutched the hand and jumped up.
"YOU!" He backed up from the brunette, one of Danielle's maids. He always felt ill at ease around this maid. She smiled at him. "You're too kind". That purring voice that rang in his mind. He still couldn't place her. "What do you want madame? Her Highness is still missing, you should have remained downstairs in the servants quarters, as fits your station."
Marguerite stepped closer to Henry. He still didn't recognize her, lucky for her. Danielle was easy enough to capture and keep subdued, as long as she was kept with food and water for the sake of the baby, she was content. Granted the constant crying was annoying but that would stop as soon as Marguerite told her that Henry had had her, was over Danielle and then she would kill her, like she had the mercenaries that had helped her in her plan.
"Your Highness, I was merely offering you some company in your solitude."
"I'll prefer my solitude over anyone else's company outside of my family's."
"What about the company of your sister-in-law?"
Henry tensed. " Comtess De Ghent isn't here madame."
She stepped closer, her blue eyes sparkling.
She smiled, "At your service your Highness."
Henry back up, his mind racing. How?!
"It's easy to dye my hair, and act all servant like to that ungrateful little witch!" She smiled, "And now Henry, I am willing to become your mistress. And then your Queen when they never find Danielle."
Henry's vision turned red, and before he knew it his hands were clutching her arms, shaking her violently. "WHERE IS SHE? WHERE IS MY WIFE? IF YOU'VE HARMED HER I SWEAR!"
Marguerite had never known such violence that was causing her to be shook so hard. She suddenly grew fearful, terrified that she had messed up in her plan.
The doors opened, and the guards rushed in, lead by Marc. Seeing the scene and hearing the last part of the conversation, he knew that the woman was the kidnapper.
"Henry! Stop it. Stop it! We'll never find Danielle if you shake the stupid girl to death."
That stopped Henry as he thrust Marguerite into Marc's arms. She was crying and terrified.
Marc took her to the dungeons, leaving Henry alone again. This time was different, Henry knew Danielle was alive and well, and that he would find her, safe with their baby. Enlightened, he went to the dungeons to be witness to the interrogation.
The warmth of the sun shined on Danielle's face. She uplifted her face and sighed, completely content to stay underneath this tree for the rest of her pregnancy.
Since the weather was nearing fall, Danielle decided to go outside as much as she possibly could.
" I would assume that sigh is in appreciation for me stealing you away from another meeting with all the courtiers this afternoon right?" Leonardo said over his shoulder.
Danielle laughed gaily, then grasping a piece of the tree's bark, lifted herself up to walk over to the painter.
" Yes, thank you again Leonardo. Trust me, we do appreciate this." Danielle thanked him, smoothing her hands over her swollen belly. A kick was the response. Leonardo chuckled.
' I'm sure your child will want to be outside as much as you do my dear. And with no children of my own, and without your father to dote upon it,' he turned to her, his eyes glistening with tears. ' May I be considered as an uncle of sorts to the future monarch?'
Danielle smiled, and nodded, too choked up to say anything. She always thought of Leonardo as a grandfather of sorts to her, and would be honored to have him be a part of her child's life.
Quickly she averted her eyes to the painting. She gasped, seeing a beautiful river, shining in the sunlight. ' It's not much yet my dear, but I thought the backdrop was perfect.'
" It's like a fairy land Leonardo." She wrapped her arms around his shoulders, and kissed his cheek.
' It's where I saw a beautiful angel again, whom won the prince's heart. I suppose your children would like to see this peaceful place.'
She smiled. Swimming had been very interesting that day. In some ways, she wished that Jaqueline hadn't interrupted her and Henry talking, but so was fate, and you couldn't change the past.
Danielle played with the diamond heart resting around her neck, thinking of Henry ad how she wished he had been able to come with them for the entire day. She knew he worried, but even now she felt as though she was being watched. Leonardo sensed her growing fear.
"Little Bird, it's too quiet since we arrived. Perhaps you should call your guard."
Danielle nodded, ' Josef?'
Nobody came. Looking at Leonardo, she started to take deep breaths, as her fear grew.
' Josef? Will you come here please?'
Nobody came. All was silent, even the birds. Danielle turned and saw Marguerite with a knife. Smiling, she plunged it into Danielle's abdomen.
Danielle opened her eyes, gasping and sweating on the bed. She sat up, looking around the room that had been her prison for the last two weeks. Just another nightmare she thought. Marguerite had held the knife to her throat the day she took her. There were men with her too, mercenaries, killing Danielle's guard and beating Leonardo half to death. Once Danielle had been locked in her room wherever she was, Marguerite had poisoned and killed the other mercenaries. Danielle shuddered thinking about the screaming and then complete silence.
She added another tally to the headboard, marking another day in spending the first few days trying to find a way out, no avail. There was no way to climb out of the small window, especially in her condition, the lock was a padlock, inaccessible to her. Resigned to her fate, she tried to keep occupied, and ate and drank for the sake of the baby.
She saw a tray full of bread, cheese, fruit and a pitcher of water. The usual fare for the day. The baby kicked in her. Her hands immediately cradled her belly. "I know my darling. I know you're hungry."
Moving out of bed, she sat at the table and took nibbles of food and water. She instantly thought of waking up with Henry. Breaking her fast with the Queen. Walking in the rose garden reading in the King's library. Danielle sobbed as she felt the baby move in her, how Henry would enjoy feeling their child. "Henry please find us. I love you and miss you so much. Please find us"