Full Summary

Katherine always thought she was destined to reign over England with her husband King Henry VIII. But the course of her life and everyone around her changes when an exotic runaway Monacan heiress masquerade herself as a lady in waiting. Katherine goes through many changes. She soon finds out that destiny is a two way street. Katherine unfortunately suffers verbal, physical and emotional abuse from her husband Henry and finds comfort and refuge in a lady in waiting who cares deeply for her. She then has to make a decision that will change the course of her life and the lives of her children. Will Katherine break the cycle of abuse and heartbreak she suffered for so long at the hands of her 'loving' husband?

Secrets, Betrayal, and Hidden Strength all come together in this story.

*Warning

Abuse, rape, sexual situations are in some chapters.

If you are sexually repressed or anything like that. You need to exit from this fanfic, put the mouse on the mouse pad and slowly walk away.

Breaking The Cycle

Prologue

Helen of Aragon is a good and God fearing woman, and is the most powerful woman in all Europe, if not the known world. But unlike all Queens of Europe, she was not born a princess. No, she in fact was born in the Spanish Royal Palace. Her mother was but a kitchen girl to their majesties King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile. Her mother, AnnaMaria, was a good young girl of 16 and unfortunately had the unwanted attention of King Ferdinand. Since her sixteenth birthday, the king always found time to visit his young mistress. AnnaMaria avoided the king's anger and gave herself unto him when ever he wished.

King Ferdinand loves his wife, Queen Isabella, however he also enjoyed the pleasure of having a mistress around. He made sure to give his mistress his 'attention' during the day when his Queen was busy during her duties as Queen of Castile. However, the Queen knew of his infidelities and wished not to interfere. Queen Isabella allowed this of her husband only because she wanted him to be happy and not feel tied down. 'He may have his mistresses, but my kingdom is bigger then his'. She thought to herself one day while observing courtiers. Everything was going fine for the king and queen, but when the 'kitchen girl' was relieved of her duties and given her own rooms, the Queen had to object. She has allowed her husband to have mistresses but she will be damned if he grant rooms to them. Upon walking down the corridor in their lavish palace Queen Isabella ran into her husband. The glare she gave him told him she knew about everything. He took a deep breath and began to speak.

"My Queen, forgive my ungodly ways. I have shamed myself and my kingdom by allowing my seed to grow in the womb of a woman who is not my wife." Hearing those words enraged the queen. Her face was emotionless but inside her blood was boiling. She had to turn her back to him to keep herself from striking him. He came close to her and put his hands on her shoulders, she can feel his breath on the nape of her neck.

"Wife, please." he spoke softly. "I could not control my desires. She is only but a girl." The Queen cut him off and seethed "a girl who is pregnant with YOUR child!" King Ferdinand was dumbfounded, Queen Isabella had never spoken to him in that manner before. "My love please forgive me, I shall not visit her any longer." he reasoned desperately trying to regain his Queens' favor of him. Queen Isabella knew he loved her, but also knew he would not abandon his child. Bastard or not. She looks upon his saddened filled face and decided to gain control of the situation and make a decision about the welfare of the child and it's mother.

"There shall be no contact what so ever with you and her. She may reside in the room you have given her but once she has recovered from child bed, she WILL resume to her place in the kitchen. However if I find that you have given in to your 'desires' with her again, there shall be consequences and my heart shall hardened against you both". The Queen said in a frighteningly calm voice. All King Ferdinand could do was nod and accept his wife's decision. He prepared to offer his apologies again but her majesty turned her back to him ending the conversation.

During AnnaMaria's pregnancy King Ferdinand made sure she was in comfort. His chamberlain gave him reports of her pregnancy every week. Of course few in the entire kingdom knew the king had an illegitimate child on the way, and they dared not speak a word to no one about it. When it was time to give birth to the child, King Ferdinand was in his bedchamber. Which was not far from AnnaMaria's. He spent hours sitting alone in his chair waiting for the cries of his mistress to stop. When it finally did, he sprinted towards the door and when he opened it the Queen stood in it's door way. He stepped back and allowed her entry. She took a loud breath and announced that he and his mistress have a healthy daughter. Upon hearing this he clenched his jaw and nodded. But the Queen was not finished there.

"I have decided to name her Helena. She shall be taken away from her mother and placed in the care of OUR daughters' household. While there, Helena shall be raised to serve Catalina, and journey with her to England as a maid. She will serve as a lady in waiting when Catalina is crowned Queen of England." Queen Isabella spoke without emotion, after nine months she still harbored anger towards them. She figured that her husband would learn from his mistake and not disrespect her again.

Queen Isabella curtsied and turned to leave the room. While passing the chambers of the new mother, she could not help but over hear the sobs and cries of the young woman. There was nothing worst for a mother, to have her child taken away. But the lesson had to be taught. These are the consequences of sleeping with another woman's husband. Queen Isabella blocked out the sad scene, she refused to allow sympathy for AnnaMaria to creep in her heart.

2 years later...

Four year old Princess Catalina became very fond of her small companion. Little Helena followed the princess like a shadow. She would mimic the princess as best she could. One day Princess Catalina receives a visit from her father King Ferdinand. Usually he would receive Catalina alone but sometimes his 'other' daughter would be in the same room. As Catalina walked near her father she curtsied low trying not to loose balance.

"Well done mi amor." he praised as she gave him a toothy smiled. "Mama taught me how and Juana too papa." Her small voice always enlightens him. Even on bad days, Catalina always brought him to a smile.

"Have you been doing well with your lessons?" he ask as he gently pinch her cheek.

Catalina nods with excitement and began speaking small phrases in Latin she had learned the previous day. When she was done, the king smiled as he knelt and wrapped his arms protectively around his youngest 'legitimate' child. While doing so, he could not help but look over to the little noise maker playing in the play pin across the room. Upon seeing his baby daughter of two years, his eyes soften and slightly glaze over. By then he had not realize the daughter he was hugging was speaking in Latin again to him. He nodded and gave her an encouraging smile. King Ferdinand risen from his knee and made his way to the play pin.

"That's Helena papa, she do everything I do." Catalina confirmed to her father. He smiled as he lifted the child from her concealed area. He held her in his arms and put his finger in her tiny hands. For the first time he get to hold his daughter without looking over his shoulder for prying eyes. He momentarily forgot his position and kissed little Helena. Remembering his post he gently placed the child in the safety of her play pin. Catalina held his hand and he gently squeezed it. Looking down, he playfully captured Catalina's chin.

"Promise me you will look after Helena. She is young and needs you to protect her." He said sincerely.

Sensing a serious moment Catalina promised her father. The king smiled and pinched her cheeks. Feeling a presence near he turned to find his Queen looking at them.

"Isabella, how long have you been there." he asked embarrassment clearly in his face. "Long enough," she said as she smiled at their daughter. Catalina curtsied and ran to her mother. Queen Isabella embraced her youngest child.

"Hello mi amor." she said kneeling down. Catalina cherished every moment she spent with her mother. "Hi mama, I learn Latin." the four year old said proudly. Isabella secretly paid more attention to her youngest. She loves her older children, but her youngest reminded her so much of herself.

"Will you show me what you have learned?" little Catalina nodded. "I shall visit you in your chamber and you can recite your leanings to me there."

"Thank you mama." Catalina said as she curtsied and left.

Once Catalina left the room Queen Isabella focused on King Ferdinand. "I hope I have not upset you by visiting her." the king said.

"You have not upset me husband. In fact I have decided to show leniency and allow AnnaMaria to visit Helena on the condition she visits her once a month." King Ferdinand smiled at the news. Seeing her once a month was better than not seeing her at all. Inside he was excited that AnnaMaria will be allowed to see her and his child.

"Thank you very much wife. You are such a kind Christian woman." the Queen nodded and preceeded to walk from the room when the king took her arm and held her close. He kissed her passionately and they decided to retire for the evening. Forgetting about Catalina, Queen Isabella made sure she visited Catalina the very next morning.

Three years has passed and the King and Queen where honored that all of Europe considered them the greatest monarchs that have ever reigned.

One evening when the King visited his five year old daughter, he was shocked that her mother was visiting also.

"AnnaMaria," he breathed. She immediately curtsied low. He lifted her by her shoulders and she stepped away from him.

"Please your majesty, I only wish to visit my child." She said, not wanting to gain his attention again. "I am happy that you are allowed to visit her, she needs you as a mother." AnnaMaria nodded and they continued to talk quietly while they watched their daughter sleep. On two other occasions the king slowly renewed his want for her. AnnaMaria once again received his unwanted attention. His aloofness did not go unnoticed. Queen Isabella began working on a plan to teach her husband a lesson he soon shall never forget.

She secretly prepared a ship for a long journey. Once everything was in place she went to Catalina's chambers and waited for AnnaMaria. Queen Isabella made sure Catalina was not present for the words that would soon be exchanged. Once AnnaMaria entered the chambers she was surprised to see the Queen waiting for her. AnnaMaria was so shocked that she forgot to curtsy. Queen Isabella took a deep breath and motioned for her husbands' recurring mistress to sit.

"AnnaMaria, I see you have continued to fulfill my husbands desires." AnnaMaria knew her majesty knew of her 'visits' from the king, and for that, she along with her daughter was banished. The Queen had guards escort AnnaMaria and Helena to the docks of Mostril.

When they set sail AnnaMaria was told she and her daughter will be taking up north, as far as the boat will go. Many days passed and the young woman spent most of her time reading and sitting out on deck. Watching her only child playing in the sunlight AnnaMaria began to think of the foreign land they will dwell in. She saw most of Europe pass by, the boat steered in one direction. North. After many weeks passed by she spotted a distant land mass. A day later the ship came closer to this mysterious land. The first thing AnnaMaria saw was the wall. The wall was massive. She and the ship's crew never have seen such a massive piece of work. Soon the ship docked and AnnaMaria and Hellena was let off the ship. As the Queen ordered the crew said their goodbyes and left. AnnaMaria felt completely helpless. But she had a daughter to think about and she needed to find shelter. She took little Helena's hand and began to walk. They were not too far from the entry gates. Once they were close enough, the thick metal wall opened and they were immediately surrounded by guards.

"Who dares set foot on Monacan soil!" on of the guards said. AnnaMaria was frightened and Helena hid behind her mothers skirts. "Please, my child and I have been sailing for weeks and we are starving. May we enter this kingdom in hopes for survival?" AnnaMaria said with a brave voice. The guards were very intimidating and looked as if they were going to hurt them.

"How do we know you are not spies." AnnaMaria thought for a moment and became afraid. Not just for herself but for her child. She knew these men would probably hurt them no matter what she said. She did the only thing that came to mind. Forgetting her belongings she picked up Helena and ran in the opposite direction. She did not get far, the guards ran after her. AnnaMaria unfortunately slipped and fell hard. She heard Helena's screams but she was helpless. She soon, blacks out and lost consciousness.

Hours later...

AnnaMaria slowly came into consciousness and started to stir. She could hear movement and felt something cold that stung her head. She slowly opened her eyes and saw another pair looking down at her. Suddenly she shot up and became dizzy and fell back down. The lady who was attending her spoke in a language AnnaMaria did not recognize. The lady began to speak 'can you understand' in different languages until she said it in Spanish and AnnaMaria understood. AnnaMaria nodded and the lady continued to speak in Spanish. AnnaMaria rubbed a sore spot on her head and winced at the dull pain.

"Where am I?" she asked. Suddenly she remembered, "where is my daughter!" she cried.

"Calm down stranger, the child is fine. You have fallen on your head and were brought to the healing chalet." the lady explained.

"Healing chalet." AnnaMaria repeated.

"Yes, you are in the healing chalet of the Monacan Imperial Palace." AnnaMaria did not know what to think. She was so confused, she felt like she was dreaming.

"How did I get here? Who are you, and where is my daughter?"

"My name is Adeline, and I am the royal physician. When you where brought in, the guards inspected your belongings. They found that your names are AnnaMaria of Aragon and the child Helena of Aragon. The king has ordered that instead of sending you back where you come from, you shall reside here. He said it would be safer for us if you do not go out telling everyone about our kingdom. He has also enrolled you daughter in the Rite of Passage. She is about six, right?" Adeline kindly asked. AnnaMaria could not believe what this mysterious woman was saying to her. They took her child away and she has no idea were. Getting this in her head, AnnaMaria became hysterical.

"No, no, no. I need to see my daughter. She needs me, you can not just take her away." AnnaMaria cried attempting to get up again but to know avail.

Adeline felt sympathy for the stranger. Her heart soften for her. "My lady calm yourself, your little girl shall be independent once she has exited the Rite of Passage. Here in Monaco, both boys and girls are taught many things. We teach our children the knowledge of the world and how to defend the kingdom from a very young age. They are mainly taught many languages, all combat styles and courses of study." Adeline explained to her. She tried her very best to tell AnnaMaria that her child is in safe hands. Monaco takes each child and places them in the Rite of Passage. To train and be of a strong mind.

Hearing more about the sacred Rite of Passage, AnnaMaria reluctantly becomes interested in such a thing.

"Will she be safe." she asks Adeline who is now sitting next to her. "Yes, she is very safe the Rite teaches us many things."

AnnaMaria looks Adeline in her eye as she asks her next question. "You have been in this Rite of Passage?"

Adeline nods and tell AnnaMaria of her adventures while in the Rite of Passage. AnnaMaria listen carefully and is slowly becoming excepting of this new thing she is hearing. "Also his majesty King Hector has ordered the you be brought to him upon waking." AnnaMaria nodded and slowly stood. Three other ladies entered the room and greeted Adeline in a different language. Adeline turned to her and said, "These ladies will prepare you for the king and queen.

Two hour later the ladies were finished and Adeline brought AnnaMaria to a long mirror to look at herself. AnnaMaria have never look so beautiful. She was amazed at how gorgeous she looked. She was dressed in an expensive lite blue gown. The gown itself left her shoulders and arms bare. She was given gold jewelry to wear. Her hair was done up with small blue pears entwined in it.

"My lady are you well." Adeline asked taking AnnaMaria from her thoughts.

"Yes, I am well. It's only that I did not think I could look so beautiful." Adeline smiled and stepped behind her. "Here in Monaco, we believe that everyone is beautiful. No matter if that person serves or not. I do not know of what you are used to, but here in Monaco there is no one who is not well kept." AnnaMaria was confused by this and Adeline explained in simpler terms.

"No one in this kingdom is poor. Here, we are not familiar with 'less fortunate'." she said hoping AnnaMaria would understand.

She nodded yes and said "You mean everyone here has many silver pieces?" Adeline barely kept herself from laughing. 'Silver pieces' she thought. Monaco knows no such thing.

Deciding sense AnnaMaria was going to live in Monaco anyway, Adeline decided to tell her of Monaco's riches.

"I an not supposed to speak to you about this. So I trust you shall keep what I say in this room to yourself. " AnnaMaria nodded yes.

Adeline took a breath and began. "In Monaco there is no such thing as 'silver pieces'. Single gold crowns are the lowest amount of money here. Monaco has many gold mines, and we have certain crown prices that are worth a certain amount of gold crowns. For example a ten crown piece coin is worth ten crowns.

(Basicly what Adeline is trying to explain is the ten crown piece is worth ten crowns. Like a ten dollar bill is worth ten one dollar bills etc.)

"We also have the twenty crown piece, fifty crown piece, one hundred crown piece, one thousand, ten thousand, twenty thousand, fifty thousand all the way up to one hundred million crown piece. There was too many single gold crowns, it was decided to make coins that was worth different amounts of gold crowns. Do you understand my lady."

AnnaMaria could not believe her ears, she had never heard of such wealth. She was born and raised in Spain and even the great Spanish monarchs did not have such wealth. A loud knock on the door startled AnnaMaria, and before she knew it she was kowtowing before Emperor Hector and Empress Valencia. Adeline previously shown her how do a perfect kowtow.

"Rise new comer." the king says in a strong yet calm voice. Their imperial majesties inspected AnnaMaria with their eyes. At the same time AnnaMaria gazed at the beauty around her. The throne room walls were made of granite that was beautifully designed. There were lined with pillars of marble and alerbaster stone behind the imperial thrones. The floor was marble tiled and polished daily to a great shine. AnnaMaria looked to the courtiers, who was beautifully dressed. The men wore jackets and breeches of silk. Women wore gowns that were a little different from the Spanish dresses she was used to. They wore thin but beautifully embroidered gowns. These people looked as though they did not have a hard day in their lives. "I see you have been well taken care of by the royal physician." the king said approvingly.

"I thank your majesties for the care you have given me." AnnaMaria answered clearly. They stood there a few moments before the Queen got down to business. "Spain is far away, why have you come here?" Empress Valencia asked. AnnaMaria decided to tell her the truth. What harm could that do. "I was banished by her majesty the Queen Isabella of Castile, she has sent me far north." AnnaMaria said. "Why were you banished?" Her majesty was more straight forward than the king. AnnaMaria took a short breath, "I unfortunately gained the kings attention, which resulted in my child, majesty.

"So, the child is of royal blood, how interesting." The Queen summed up. Suddenly the king spoke up. "We do not trust you outside of these walls AnnaMaria of Aragon. Her majesty and myself have decided that you and your child shall forever more, become residents of the empire of Monaco. Your daughter has been enrolled in our sacred Rite of Passage. That is the first accomplishment she must complete at age fifteen. As a parent of a child in the Rite, you shall follow the rules and visit her once a year like all other parents. Am I understood Lady AnnaMaria."

AnnaMaria was speechless, however she realized that her daughter will become more intelligent and independent than any royal child in the other kingdoms. She had to agree, she could not return to Spain. Monaco is offering Helena a good education that is grander than what she would have received in Spain. "I agree your majesty."

"I am pleased to hear that. You shall become a lady in waiting to her majesty. You will work everyday and shall be given two leisure weeks year. You shall be given five hundred thousand gold crowns a week." Hearing this AnnaMaria gasped and covered her mouth. She's never had so much money in her life. Seeing the dumbfounded look on her face the king asked if she was well. She explained that she has never been given a sum of money higher than fifty crowns. "Well, in this kingdom the poorest person is richer than any king in Europe. I make sure to share my gold and not become a emperor of greed. Honestly, there is no one in Monaco that has one million crown or less. In do time you shall be as wealthy as the rest of us.

"Thank you your majesty I am very greatful. God bless you both." AnnaMaria said graciously. Soon she begun her duties as a lady in waiting to the Queen majesty.

Nine years later...

AnnaMaria was having the time of her life. She accompanied the Queen to buy gifts for their children. Prince Alexei and Helena have been friends for nine years. When Helena first entered the Rite, she was having a hard time. So was the Prince Alexei. In the Right he was treated like everyone else, a commoner. The two became good friends and they helped each other along the way. When they turned thirteen the prince began to notice the curves on Helena. At the same time she was beginning to see the prince's developing mucked. Slowly they were drawn to each other. A couple times a week they would sneak out to the training yard. Prince Alexei and Helena would sit and talk until the moon was high in the sky. This went on for two years. When they were fifteen, preparing to exit the Right they said 'I love you' to each other. Prince Alexei knew in his heart that he loved Helena. He could not imagine life with out her.

Two months later...

The royal family sat eating a quiet dinner in their private hall. Prince Alexei decided this was the moment he would speak to them.

"Mother, father, did you marry for love or were your marriage arranged?" this sudden question got the king and queen's attention indeed.

"Why do you ask such a question, my son." Her majesty asked interested in his point.

"I humbly ask your majesties advice." The king and queen exchanged looks then put their silverware down and focused their attention on their oldest child.

"Well my son, your father and I married for love. We did not always liked each other at first but eventually we became friends during our years in the Rite." Queen Valencia explained.

"I did not know of you two being in the Rite together, or did not like each other."

"Well my dear, we first met in the Rite. Your father and I were to spar together and..."

"I let her win." King Hector cut in. The queen gave a snort at this. "If my husband remembers correctly, I won fairly. End of story." The queen said, and that comment started a hushed conversation between king and queen over who won and who let who win. This went on for a few moments until they remembered their son needing advice. The king cleared his throat.

"My son, on what do you wish to receive advice? Have you met a girl recently?" His father inquired.

The young prince took a slow breath. "Yes father, I have a girl in mind. She has finished the Right along with me. She has succeeded to the top of her class in all things."

"But..." The queen sensed a low point in his choice.

"But she has no Monacan blood in her veins." Both king and queen sat back in their chair. "You are speaking about Helena. The daughter of my most dearest friend and head lady in waiting." The queen knew there was something between them. They stole looks at each other during the completing of the Right of Passage ceremony.

"I love her mother, she and myself have been friends since we were six years of age. She also loves me. I feel lonely when she is away from me. I feel warm inside when she is near me. I can not see myself living without her." As the prince finished his statement, he felt as though a heavy burden lifted from his chest.

"It seems our son is truly in love my dear." King Hector said to his queen.

"Do you know what it means to marry her boy?" His father the king asked realizing what was to come. "It means she shall be Empress of Monaco! We can not just allow you to marry anyone. She has to be strong in heart, spirit and mind." The king said in a slightly raised voice.

"She is all that father, and much more. Our instructors have told her so and her mother."

"Are you sure she loves you." The king asks.

"Yes father, she does. She has expressed that to me many times." The king took a deep breath. He knew if he refused his son of this opportunity, he would not receive his son's full respect of him. That was the last thing he waned. To leave an empire to a son who does not love him only because he denied him of his love.

"I give you permission to marry whom ever you choose. We shall invite Lady AnnaMaria and Helena to a meeting." The king says. Prince Alexei smiled to his king and queen. He now was truly happy.

Two days later...

The king, queen, prince, Helena, and AnnaMaria was in the king's office. AnnaMaria had no idea what the sudden visit was about, but Helena knew.

"It has been two months since our children has honorably exited the Rite of Passage." The king starts off.

"Yes, your majesty I am very proud of my daughter, she has surpassed all the other girls." AnnaMaria said proud of her only child.

"AnnaMaria, we have been friends for nine long years haven't we. As you know I care for you deeply, and I know you care for me also."

" Of course Val, you know I do." AnnaMaria said kindly.

"Well it seems my son can not go on without your daughter. We wish to arrange a marriage between them." AnnaMaria was shocked to hear that. She did not see this coming. She turned to Helena who gave her a small smile.

"Sweetheart, will you be comfortable with marrying the prince."

"Yes, mother, I am." Helena confirmed.

"Then it is settled. In three months time Helena will become wife to my son." the king announced.

Three months later...

August 31, 1509

"Would you solemnly swear to govern the people of Monaco according to statues of parliament agreed and the respected laws of the same, will you in your power cause law and justice and mercy to be executed in all judgments." The cardinal said as he placed the crown on Helena's head.

"I so solemnly promise to do." Helena felt the weight of the crown on her head. She felt butterflies in her stomach, but held a brave face. After the crown was placed on her head the King, Queen, Prince, AnnaMaria, parliament, and the rest of the guest began to sang the Monacan National Anthem. After, Helena was announced to everyone. "Presenting Her Imperial Highness, Helena of Dragon, heir to the throne." The royal herald said in a strong voice. Princess Helena could not believe it. An hour ago she was married to a wonderful person and now she and her husband is heir to the most powerful empire in the known world.

There was a massive feast for the royal couple. There was so much food. The new couple enjoyed themselves very much. At nine in the evening it was time to go to the royal bedchamber.

"Remember to take deep quiet breaths. And make sure you are moist before consummation, it will help a lot. Be strong and try not to cry. Everything shall be fine." AnnaMaria assured her newly crowned daughter.

"Yes mother." Princess Helena rubbed cinnamon oil on her body and put Prince Alexei's favorite scent on. She slipped on a beautiful silk night gown. Her black hair was loose around her shoulders. Her soft olive skin shined in the candle light. Once she was ready her mother escorted her to her new chambers she is to share with her new husband.

"Be brave my love." AnnaMaria said as she kissed her daughter. Helena smiled and hugged her mother. When she walked in the her new bedchambers everyone smiled and bowed. There had been a consummation party in the room. The king and queen, five members of parliament, four priests and six bishops were in attendance for the consummation.

"May the Lord bless you, and give you many children." The high priest said. Prince Alexei walked in the room and all bowed to him. The royal couple slid into bed and the chambermaids closed their bed curtains. As they lay in the darkness, Prince Alexei leaned over and whispered to his new wife.

"Are you ready for me, wife." He said quietly. Princess Helena nodded nervously.

"I am ready to received you husband." She whispered back.

"I shall be gentle with you." He reassures her. He positioned himself on top of her. They kissed and slowly the nervousness went away. His kisses trailed down her neck and onto her breasts. Helena never had pleasure like this before. His hand explored every curve on her soft body. Soon he gently opened her legs and sets himself between them. As he promised he entered her with gentleness. She was moist and warm. The princess took short intakes of breaths as he deepens himself further. He continued a slow and gentle thrust as he moved within her. She enjoyed the pleasure and so did he. They ended the concentration with a warm climax. As the prince slid out of his princess he rolled onto his side of the king sized bed. Both were spent and desperate for sleep. "I love you." He whispered. "I love you too." Was her reply as the sound of the concentration party quietly leaving faded from her ears as sleep took her.

Customarily to tradition the Queen took the Queen to be under her wing. Queen Valencia is a big influence on the princess. She taught Princess Helena all she new about running an empire. Three months after the wedding, the princess was receiving commoners at the queen's side.

"I am so glad it is November, I love the breeze and cool wind. I have been so hot lately." Helena said fanning herself.

"Perhaps it is the change in seasons." Valencia says smiling. After another hour of receiving commoners and their gifts she invited Helena to lunch.

"So, how long has it been gone." Valencia asked smiling to her daughter in law. This question confused Helena, who looked at her mentor questionably.

"How long has what been gone?" Helena asked. Valencia quietly laughed and set down her cup of tea.

"Your courses. I am a mother, I have two children. One who is married and my youngest is in the Rite. I have much knowledge of motherhood. I also know a pregnant woman when I see one." Helena's face reddened at this. She thought she was the only one who knew her 'big' secret.

A/N: Tell me what you think. All reviews accepted.