Pretenders to the Throne Outtakes

AN: I'm back with a few things to post today. These chapters were actually sent back by my beta mizzdee last weekend, but Hurricane Sandy derailed my posting attempts. I find myself fortunate with the minimal damage done to our backyard and garage, and that the lack of power and heat was our most pressing issue, both of which were just restored. So many were not as fortunate and we are doing all we can here to help out our neighbors in need. If you can, please take a moment to visit Fandom Fights Hurricane Sandy (link on my profile, or go to the charity name at blogspot). The devastation is so vast and the need is great. My contribution to the compilation is just one way that I am lending a hand. Now, here are three little moments people wanted to see from a different vantage point. The last two futuretakes will stand alone, but here are the moments you wanted to see revisited.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. Story is rated M for violence, language, and lemons.

Outtake One: Edward's perspective of finding Isabella in the Royal Catacombs

This outtake is from Chapter Two, where Edward rescues Isabella when she gets lost in the Catacombs after her father's funeral procession.

Edward had been up since dawn, the events of the day weighing heavy on him. It had been years since his own experience with what the future Queen would face today, but time did little to lessen the pain. He was dressed and at the Cathedral before most of the other nobles, taking the opportunity to see the King where he was still laying out for his viewing.

Approaching the body of his former monarch, the smell of incense heavy in the air to mask the other odors present, Edward bowed his head and spoke to the King in a whisper. "My father was loyal to you, and you thought highly of him, even going to war after he was killed by Pamlico forces that had crossed our borders. Majesty, I'm torn between loyalty to the men who raised me and my budding feelings for your daughter, but I promise to do everything in my power to protect her. I hope one day to be a man you would have been proud to see her marry." Edward paused, knowing it could be difficult to keep such a promise, but knowing that he had to try. "Go in peace, my King."

Removing himself to the back of the sanctuary so that Isabella, who had now arrived for the preparation of her father, could have a last moment with him, Edward found the other members of the nobility and listened as General Whitlock explained the order of those marching behind the King as he journeyed to his final resting place.

The Princess would march alone directly behind her father, followed by her ladies. From there it went in order of title, with the Duke of Cullen and his family, followed by the Duke of Blacklake. The Earls were next in the procession, followed by the Counts, Edward as a Viscount would go before the Barons and the Baroness.

Edward saw his uncles from their position behind him, wishing he knew what it was they truly wanted with him. His own desires to become the future King were tied to the woman who would be his wife, but the Barons had been tight lipped about their plan besides the fact that he had to succeed in winning her hand.

When the King's body, which was enclosed in a glass box, was loaded onto the horse drawn carriage, Princess Isabella exited the church and took her place behind her father. The ranks closed and soon they were marching back to Meyer Castle where the Royal Catacombs were located.

It was a slow march, and when they arrived to the tomb many dispersed, leaving only those who knew the King well to venture in with the Princess. Edward bought two bouquets from one of the floral stands and then entered the tomb to search out his own relations.

Remembering what he was taught about the organization of the catacombs, Edward followed the right wall looking past all the blank tombs until he found where Princess Isabella and Lord Cullen remained with the King. Continuing down a little further, he found the tomb of his great-great grandparents, King Edward and Queen Margaret.

Laying the flowers atop the stone coffins, Edward began to pray. Though they had lost touch with their people before the end, the Whites had done great things for their people. Edward prayed for guidance and wisdom so that he could make the decisions that would lie ahead.

As he finished his prayer, he heard the Princess call out for someone. Terror was apparent in her tone so he rushed in the direction he had come, finding her crying against the entrance to her father's tomb.

"Princess Isabella, are you well, Your Majesty?"

Her eyes continued to tear as she panted, "I couldn't find my way out, it is so hard to find your way down here."

"I shall lead you out, I was leaving myself when I heard your cries," he told her taking her arm.

"Why were you still down here?" she asked.

"I have never visited the tomb that holds my great-great grandfather, but when I was little I promised my grandmother that if I ever had the opportunity, I would pay my respects to King Edward and Queen Margaret."

"Were you named after him? The King, I mean," Isabella asked, a blush coloring her cheeks.

"No, I am Edward Masen the Second, though there are those that will believe the opposite." Edward immediately thought of his uncles who believed that his name was proof that he was to take the throne.

"I did not mean-" Isabella spoke before Edward could cut her off.

"I know, but the Duke has already seen fit to warn me when it comes to Your Majesty." Edward smirked at how the man had cornered him to issue the thinly veiled threat.

"He overstepped, I apologize," Isabella told Edward, who turned to her suddenly.

"May I?" Edward held out his handkerchief in offering. Isabella nodded and he wiped her tears from her face and then placed the cloth in her hand. "There, now all they will think is that you were a dutiful daughter."

"Thank you, Edward," the Princess whispered to him.

"Do not mention it, Your Majesty; I am happy to be of aid to you. But in the future, the tomb starts in the front with the first King of Dwyer and follows the left wall to the end, then comes back down the right side, so you can always find your way out."

"Good day, Edward."

"Good day, Isabella," he spoke before exiting the catacombs. He left before her and worked his way through the crowd, knowing that another moment in her presence would have led to a lapse of judgment that would have wounded her reputation even more than his own.

Outtake Two: The Real Story of the Mountain Lion

This outtake is from Chapter Eight, when Edward goes to investigate a strange noise a night near the end of their honeymoon.

Having just finished Edward's birthday celebration, the couple was about to move into the bedroom when a noise sounded in the distance.

"Stay in here, don't move." Edward was gone and back a minute later, carrying two daggers and a sword that he'd retrieved from the bedroom. "Darken the house and hide in the bedroom. Do not come out, I will return for you shortly. And take this." He handed her the second dagger and was out the front door.

Edward tucked away the dagger and carried the sword ahead of him, creeping along the lower ridge of the hill in the direction he had heard the sound. Moving quickly, he came upon a man doing some sneaking of his own, but thankfully King Edward managed to get the jump on him.

Their swords met blow for blow, this man larger and specialized in using brute strength to overpower his opponents. The pair fell through the fence at the property line with a loud crash, which resulted in a scream from the house where Isabella hid. Unsure of whether the cry was from fear for him or because she had been discovered, Edward knew he needed to end this fight quickly.

The King landed one hit, earning a roar of a scream from the man before he regrouped. Edward used his skill to try and disarm the man, but when he saw that it was unlikely, he reached for the dagger and on the next deflected strike Edward swung the dagger at the man's throat. The wound was deep, spraying blood down Edward's front as he fell before him.

Knowing that there could be no trace of this man for his possible co-conspirators to find, the King found a flat rock and began digging at the dirt. The recent rain had made the ground soft and from the size of the area without grass, it appeared that a cluster of trees had recently been removed, making the earth easy to overturn.

It took time he didn't want to spend away from Bella, but Edward worked tirelessly to bury the man. When the task was done he returned to the house remembering to tell Felix to leave the area untouched except to repair the fence, knowing his man would do as he asked.

Edward wiped his weapons clean and then entered the house, calling out for Isabella. "Bella! Please, come out here. I need to see that you are well."

Isabella ran into the room, dropping her own dagger when she took in his disheveled and bloodied appearance.

"Oh my goodness." She ran to him. "Where are you injured? We must do something to stop it-"

"It is not mine," Edward said plainly.

"Not yours? Edward this much blood means that someone is…" Edward watched as Isabella could not finish her sentence, but he continued so she didn't need to.

"Something," he reassured her. "A mountain lion came down to investigate and that was what we heard. We were lucky; he nearly got one of the cows when I found it."

"A mountain lion? And you remained unharmed?" Edward could tell as he removed and burned his clothing that his wife was appraising him, looking for wounds she would thankfully not find.

"He was preparing to go after the herd, so I ran him through with my sword and then finished him off. We were under someone's heavenly protection tonight that is for sure."

"Let me fix you a bath." Edward kept her inside, instead going to fetch the water himself.

"I will get the water; you stay inside and prepare the rest."

They worked together, and soon the water had been warmed enough, but Bella watched as Edward washed his body first in a small basin before climbing into the water.

"Isabella, what is it?" The Queen turned to see her husband's concerned expression as he continued to bathe himself.

"I have never been so scared-" Edward interrupted her, his need to reassure her above all else.

"I would have never let anyone hurt you." Edward's voice was impassioned, but Isabella rushed to him, taking his face in her hands.

"What if you had been harmed defending me? I would have been devastated. You are so precious to me, my husband."

His hand reached up to grip hers. "You need not worry about it today; we are safe."

Outtake Three: King Edward and Jacob's shared ride to Masen.

This outtake is from Chapter Twenty-Five, when Jacob invites himself along on King Edward's trip to Masen under the guise of wanting to see how he handles his steward and the running of his land from afar.

If there were cliffs in the Southern part of Dwyer, King Edward would have had his driver ride close to one so he could have thrown Jacob over the edge of one. The three day ride should have been peaceful, Edward brought along papers to look over and a few books to read, but he could do neither as the Duke sat across from him huffing and sighing like a woman.

"Is there something wrong, Jacob?"

"No, why would you ask?" Jacob sniped back, earning him an eye roll from his Monarch.

"You simply seem to be annoyed that you're traveling with me, when it was something organized at your own request. If you've changed your mind, you'd be able to hire a coach back to the castle at the next town we pass."

"Thank you, but I will remain on with you," Jacob told him.

As the second day of their journey came to a close, Edward entered the great house of Westbury, making a quick departure from Jacob's side. Liam was there to welcome the men, his wife and daughter, Maggie, behind him.

"Majesty, how is my son fairing in his new position?"

"Very well, Liam. You should be very proud of how hard he works," Edward told the Count, who led them to their rooms for the night.

The travelers joined the family for dinner that evening, Jacob was quiet during the entirety of the meal and then the two men retired early, knowing they had to be up early the following morning.

The first two days had been extremely annoying for the King, with Jacob's never-ending list of questions about how he had selected the man to be his steward and the detail with which he went into his expectations, Edward was left with a pounding headache and a strong desire for his wife to distract him from thoughts of hurting the Duke.

"Jacob, you shouldn't be that involved in the day to day running of your estate," Edward finally said, exasperated by the questions he'd been pelted with. "Just like the staff of your Manor knows how they are to work, the same should be true of your steward. Their main job is to maintain the status quo. Talk to your steward about how you would handle different scenarios, such as a northern invasion, or a stoppage in work flow. They will have to send word to you if anything major occurs so that you can handle it, it is simply a matter of keeping things from getting two out of control while you are in transit."

"But how did your man become so well versed in how you would handle a situation?" Jacob asked.

"Because he was able to watch me run the peerage, so he had examples to go by, and we worked side by side. You will also have the luxury of traveling to Blacklake more frequently and much quicker than I can to Masen. So decide your ground rules for the running of the peerage, lay them before him, and in the beginning travel home often, even if it is for a few days so that you can discuss what has occurred and make decisions together. If your father had a man he trusted, then when he is ready to step down, have his successor work side by side with him when you cannot."

Edward watched the Duke, hoping the inquisition was over, and when he saw that it was indeed done for the moment, he picked up his book and passed the rest of the afternoon.

Upon arriving at Masen House, Felix had the servants brought Jacob to his rooms. The first meeting between King and steward was held soon after with Jacob in attendance.

For the three days that followed the Duke of Blacklake was a bothersome interruption to the progress of work, but he seemed to get a sense of the flow between the King and his man. Edward concluded the arrangements for the fall and winter, sampling some of the earliest crops to be picked and holding Court as the Viscount.

The final day was spent on horseback with the men of the border patrol and the Royal Army as they discussed the progress in the search for the former Barons. As Edward explained the difficulties of riding in the south for those who were unused to the terrain, Jacob took a minute to truly see his King.

The respect of both his guard and the army was clear, but more importantly; his care for them was equally as apparent. Seeing the relationship he had with his people, Jacob finally saw some of the good in his King.

After the day outdoors, a quiet dinner was had before the men once again prepared for their journey home.

While Jacob seemed crotchety on the return trip, King Edward believed it wasn't directed at him this time and therefore was able to concentrate on the things he had hoped to read on the trip to Masen.

The three day trek was only long because of the King's desire to return to his wife, but when night came and he was finally able to join her in their bed, the annoyances of the past ten days could be forgotten.