BIG apologises for not writing recently! Hope this makes up for it!
Bess Woodville- Glad you like my version of George and my telling of events! :-D
1470, Near Calais
"Isabel is too weak," Anne thought, as she wiped the sweat off her sister's dangerously warm forehead. "The babe is too early and it's all father's fault!"
The traitorous earl and his family had fled not long ago to Calais, to seek refuge there for they were loyal to Warwick and would surely grant them refuge from Edward. It was too dangerous for Isabel, though, as she was quite near her time, but Warwick had forced them to get on a ship, when they should have been on land for her, and the babe's, safety.
Now she had gone into labour. It was too early.
A scream echoed again throughout the tiny room they were in, and Anne winced as her sister grabbed a tight hold of her hand as another wave of pain hit her. "Make it stop!" she screamed. "Anne, make it stop!"
Anne could do nothing but watch and try to calm her sister's worries, but inside she was just as scared as everyone else was…
"Land ahoy!" came the long awaited cry from the ship's lookout. "Calais, straight ahead!"
Everyone let out a heavy, held-in sigh and smiled at one another. Isabel let out a cry of joy, but winced again as another spasm hit her.
"Not long now, Isabel!" Anne said positively. "We are at Calais! You will be fine, so will the babe!"
Isabel gave her a weak smile.
The door burst open and Warwick came in, fuming. Everyone gasped. Isabel grabbed Anne's hand again. George came hurrying in, his face pale.
"They won't let us in!" Warwick seethed.
"Why?!" The Countess asked, shock in disbelief. "They are loyal to you, Husband. Surely they would let you in!"
Warwick sat on a chair, his head in his hands. "No," he whispered. "They are loyal to Edward now. He got their loyalty first. We have to go somewhere else."
A stunned silence filled the room. Isabel cried out, and George hurried to her side.
"George…" she murmured, burying her face in his chest. "Where are we to go now?!"
George rocked her gently, but said nothing. His face stone hard, but laced with tears.
Warwick stood up. "We shall go to France," he decided. "And beg safety from King Louis."
He turned to Isabel. "Stay strong, daughter."
To George, "Stay strong, my son-in-law."
To Anne, he gave a nod. "We need you now, Anne," he said, before leaning forward and whispering, "Though your heart is on the side of King Edward."
The young girl looked at her father in shock and surprise. Did he mean Richard? Did he mean her?
Warwick's grim face told her everything she needed to know.
"The head is crowning, Isabel!" Anne cheered, as a large wave hit the side of the ship. "Not long now, sister!"
"One more push," the Countess said encouragingly. "One more push, daughter, and your pain shall be over."
Isabel nodded, grabbed her sister's hand, and pushed with all the energy she had left. The babe slid out and the exhausted young woman laid her head back on the sodden pillow, sighing with relief.
But the babe did not cry...
"It's a small, weak thing," the Countess observed sadly. "I fear it shall not live through the night."
Isabel's face crumpled and she burst into tears. George hugged her comfortingly, as she again buried her face into his clothing of his chest. He turned his head to the Countess. "How long do you think?" he asked, his mouth dry from bitter tears.
She shook her head. "A few hours…"
She held the babe out to George. "It's a girl," she said. "Would you like to hold her?"
George gingerly took the babe from his mother-in-law and rocked it gently. The babe gave out a thin, weak, ready cry and George's face crumpled and tears spilled over down his face.
"O cruel life…" he whispered. "You give my brother a strong boy, and I get a girl that will not last the night…"
He looked up at Anne. "I think she should be named after her aunt." He looked to the Countess. "And her grandmother."
He turned back to Isabel, to still crying, and back again. His eyes were red and swollen. "Will you do us the honour, sister?"
Anne nodded. "George, for you, anything."
The middle of the York Brothers gave a small, watery smile.
Looking down at his child, he kissed her head, which let out a weak wail at his touch, but when he looked up his smile had gone and was replaced with a look of pure hatred. "Tis your fault, Ned!" he cursed. "You bastard son of an archer!"
He handed the child to Anne. "I hate him…" he murmured, before saying louder, "I HATE HIM!" and he stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind him.
Baby Anne let out a screech like a dying pig, and her aunt rocked her gently to calm her. She looked at her mother, who stared at her with sad, hollow eyes, no threat of tears showed in them.
"Oh, Richard…" Anne thought. "God give us all mercy. For God knows when I will see you again…"
She looked down at her niece again.
"Richard…" She thought of his face, his charming, kind smile. "My one and only love…"
The waves rocked gently, and out far, far away, in a similar ship, Richard lay in his bed, on his side, looking at his reflection in a mirror on his wall. He looked at his ring that he'd given her years ago, still coated with a thin layer of dirt from the ground it had been thrown into in the fit of anger that he still felt with a passion.
"Anne… I love you," he whispered.
The silence of the room, and the rocking sounds of the waves was his cold reply…