I absolutely love Bess/Robin. There never seems to be enough about them! So I figured that instead of begging others to write them, I would do ahead and write something of my own. Let me know what you think!
My princess, my queen
"Are you attracted to her?" I asked, terribly afraid of the answer he might give. Please, please let him say no.
He hesitated slightly and seemed rather unsure of how he should word his answer.
"I'm attracted to her enough," he responded quietly, looking down to avoid my gaze.
"What?" I exclaimed, jumping up from my seated position and tearing my hands from his. "How could you say that?" I bit my lip, willing myself not to let any of my treacherous tears escape. Letting him see me so weak was a mortifying prospect.
He reached out for my hands, and as much as I wished to resist, I could not.
"Bess, sweetheart, you mistake my meaning. She will never compare to you. She will never have my heart as you do. But I must marry, and if it cannot be you, at least..."
I cut him off swiftly. "At least what, Robert? You once told me you loved me." I lowered my voice so no one could hear. "How can you marry her? You know how I feel about you, Robin. I wish I could stop caring about you, but I cannot."
It was painful for me to see the look in his eyes. He seemed so at a loss for words, as if there were none quite fitting to explain how he felt about me. I had never seen him at such a disadvantage. He had always been cocky and overly confident in his ability to charm. Now he looked like a lost little boy trying to conduct himself as a man. I, too, must have now looked like a silly love struck girl. I had never actively sought to give my heart. Whenever I saw other girls losing their minds over some man, I pitied them. How pathetic they were! Love didn't exist. People could not be trusted, especially those of the male sex. I had learned that from a young age.
But I had given my heart and this handsome young man held it in his hands. I could almost physically feel him crushing it when I had trusted him to take care of it.
He had it and as much as I wished to take it back, it was too late.
I silently cursed the day I had ever laid eyes on Robert Dudley.
"Please," I whispered.
"I don't ever wish to hurt you. You know that I am not a first born son and therefore have no inheritance. I must marry and Amy is an heiress. My father has set up the match and approves it. I certainly cannot back out of my promise now."
I did know that Robert wasn't wealthy by any means and that his father had a tendency to be ruthlessly self seeking. I understood Robert's reasons for marrying Amy, but I could not condone them. Not when he had kissed my lips. Not when he had touched me like a lover. We had been mere children when he had first admitted that he loved me, but I believed him. A boy's honest and pure declaration of love was more believable than that of a man who had been tainted by politics and ambition. I knew him well enough to know when he was telling a lie. He wasn't lying then and he certainly wasn't lying now. I could see the truth in his dark eyes, shining with unshed tears. I could feel the truth in the earnest way he held my hands.
"I could only love you. I fell completely and utterly in love with you the day you beat me in that horse race. I had been a headstrong boy then who thought that nothing could touch him. You proved to me that I was not invincible. You were a force to be reckoned with. I remember thinking to myself that this was a girl that I could respect."
I laughed despite myself. He had been taunting and teasing me constantly that day. I was just a girl. How could a little girl beat him? I had certainly shown him just what a little girl could do. We engaged in many verbal spats and competitions, always trying to one up each other. Soon our desire to crush the other turned into a budding respect and a tight friendship.
"You have not lost me, Bess. I will remain yours until the day I die." He leaned forward until his lips were close to mine. Our breath mingled together and for a moment time had stopped. His upcoming marriage disappeared into thin air and everything was right once again.
He captured my lips with his own and kissed me so tenderly that I could not help but kiss him back, despite my desire to close my heart to him forever. His kisses intensified and his hands were tangled in my hair. Between kisses, he whispered words into my ear that I could hardly comprehend in the heat of passion.
"Robin, you mustn't. We mustn't..." I feebly tried to voice my disapproval. My head knew what we were engaging in was entirely improper, but my heart felt every kiss and every caress was completely justified.
"My princess," he whispered. "My queen."
My mind snapped to attention at his words.
"You reckless fool. You know such words are dangerous."
"It's true. You will one day be my queen and I shall live and die to obey and serve only you."
I desperately tried to swallow the words that were about to spill from my lips, but tried in vain.
"I love you, Robin."
Amy Robsart had looked beautiful on her wedding day. Her rich rose colored gown set off her shiny blonde hair and pale skin. She looked exactly like a new bride should; happy, excited, and absolutely in love.
I tried not to feel the way I did. How could the innocent Amy Robsart know that the Lady Elizabeth was incredibly jealous of her? How could she know how fervently I wished to be in her place? My chest tightened with envy and hatred for the girl who was in legal possession of Robert.
Robert, for his part, seemed to match her emotion for emotion. Handsome as always, he looked just as in love as she did. I silently prayed that it was because he was imagining me in her place. I could not bear my sweet Robin being in love with someone else.
We avoided each other's gaze for the entire ceremony. He could not know how I was feeling.
When it was all over and they were officially man and wife, our eyes finally met. His eyes contained such a strange mixture of regret and desire that I could not help but let my eyes show him my true feelings as well.
It was a brief moment of honesty and I cherished it for the rest of the day.
I had his heart. He loved me. I could live on that for the rest of my life if I had to. I was Elizabeth Tudor, heir to the throne. I would survive this heartbreak just as I had survived others in the past. I was the daughter of Henry VIII and the "whore" Anne Boleyn. Strength coursed through my veins.