February 11, 1554
Tower Of London
She was only seventeen years old, yet she was going to be beheaded tomorrow, although she was innocent. Those more powerful than herself had bent her to their will, had forced her to take on great responsibility, and with their defeat had gone any chance she had had of being allowed to live out the remainder of her days.
Lady Jane Grey couldn't sleep on what was to be the last night of her earthly life. How she longed for Guilford! She would see him on the other side, she knew, and she drew great comfort from that. Yet the memory of his kiss, of his gentle carress, was permanently seared into her memory, and she would keep it with her forever.
Suddenly she sensed movement behind her, and before she could move, someone had lifted her from her bed and was carrying her downstairs. A hand tightly covered her mouth so that she couldn't scream. Soon the cool air on her skin told her that she was outside the tower. She looked up and saw nothing but the stars in the velvet black sky. She felt herself being placed in a carriage, felt the carriage moving, and saw the stars speeding by. The hand still tightly covered her mouth, and she would have been too startled to say anything anyway.
She must have dozed off at some point, because when she awakened, she was being gently lifted from the carriage and placed in a boat. Within a few minutes, she could feel the movement of the water gently rocking the boat, and that lulled her back to sleep.
When she awoke once more, she was being lifted from the boat and placed in another carriage. The sky was just beginning to turn pink as the last star twinkled out. Eventually the carriage came to a stop, and she was carried into a house and placed on the floor.
She sat and looked at her surroundings. She was in a small, sparsely-furnished cottage. Her captors were four rough-looking, dark-complected men, and beside her was Guilford! Instinctively she moved closer to him, and he clasped her protectively.
One of the men spoke. "Don't be afraid. We mean you no harm. We have saved you from martyrdom at the hands of the idol-worshipping Queen Mary and her Spanish Prince Phillip, who also prays to Mary and the saints." Jane realized that the man spoke French, a language she and Guilford were both fluent in.
"The Lord God has sent his true children to save us!" she whispered to Guilford, in English.
"So it would appear," he whispered back.
"I am Gaston," the man continued. "The others are Pierre, Andre, and Henri. Like yourselves, we are outcast for our refusal to submit to the Pope, because like you, we realize that he is just a man. No one is infallible but the Lord God himself and his son Jesus Christ."
Jane and Guilford, overcome with relief, relaxed as they realized that they were indeed amongst friends.
A woman appeared and stood beside Pierre. "I am Pierre's wife, Suzanne," she told them. "Welcome to our home. You are safe here."
Jane, too overcome to speak, slumped against Guilford as his arms tightened around her.