I own nothing.
Things in Italics are taken directly from the show.
Enjoy~


Hampton Court Palace
July 1543

Giving his newest wife a small smile he took her hand into his own and led her through the gardens as proficiently as he could with his sore leg. She returned his smile and gently squeezed his hand. They walked in pleasant silence but Henry pondered if she would betray him or perhaps she fall ill and die. Though Cate seemed content next to him, not nervous at all like his honorary sister had been when they had met, he couldn't help but wondered if he would be making another trip to the altar in his lifetime. As they rounded the corner, Henry saw a swish of pale gold, floral skirts that disappear behind the next hedge and he abruptly stopped walking.

"Are you alright, your majesty?" Catherine asked, "Henry?"

"I'm perfectly well," he answered.

They continued to walk but Henry was becoming increasingly worried that someone was watching them as they strolled. He kept catching glimpses of someone but Cate never seemed to notice the white feather from a hat that peeked over the hedges nor the pale golden skirts just making it beyond the bend as if their owner was trying to run from him nor did Cate see the petite, pale hand that would protrude from the green to beckon him.

"Let us sit, my dear," Henry said, spotting a bench.

"Henry," Catherine began nervously, "Henry, I am determined to be a loving step-mother to your children, of course I've known the Lady Mary for years. . ." Catherine said quickly, "but it would now be my pleasure rather than my duty to make friends with the Prince Edward and the Lady Elizabeth. . ."

Henry smiled at Cate's compassion for his children and he was going to reply to her statement but then he saw Anne leaning against the hedgerow. His eyes widen in dread and grasped at Cate's hand.

"The Lady Elizabeth?" Anne hissed, her dark eyes meeting with his.

"Henry?" Catherine asked looking from him to the hedgerow, "Is it your leg? Should I call the physicians? Shall we go inside?"

"Yes, sweetheart," Henry muttered, "Yes."

~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~

After he dismissed his attendants and convinced Cate it would be fine to leave him to rest unaccompanied, Henry found that he couldn't relax. Seeing Anne in the gardens frightened him. Never had she appeared in his presence while someone else was present. He hoped Cate had seen her too but he knew she didn't. Anne only plagued him and his thoughts; she was his punishment and his alone.

"I approve," she simply said, breaking Henry's train of thought.

"Of Cate?" he assumed.

"If I had been thwarted by a woman like her, perhaps I wouldn't have been so scornful," Anne said with a laugh as she stepped from a dark corner of the room. The fire illuminated the golden flowers of her dress and he remembered the day she had first worn it; how they strolled through the gardens talking of Rome, the Pope and Catherine.

"Thwarted? Jane had nothing to do with your failure," Henry snarled, "You miscarried, you killed my son!"

"It wasn't my fault, not completely. You and that wench took my boy from me," Anne said, "In the end, I gave you a beautiful daughter."

"You promised me sons. . . I have no need for daughters!" Henry said, "They cannot rule kingdoms."

"You promised me your heart. . ." Anne whispered with tears slipping down her cheeks.

"Anne. . ."

"A daughter can be useful," Anne added as she wiped the tears away, "In time you will learn this but it will be all for not. You've poisoned them, perhaps even ruined them, the both of them."

"Who?" Henry asked.

"This Catherine will do wonders for my darling Elizabeth. Do try to keep the Seymours' at bay, they can be such wolves." Anne revealed.

Without another word Anne curtsied and then faded away right before Henry's eyes. If it didn't hurt to move around, he would have gotten up and thrown something. He was livid. Anne always knew how to get a rise out of him. He remembered how their arguments used to get so fierce and heated it would almost carry over into vehement love making. . .

He hadn't felt so passionately angry since the last time he thought of Anne. No one else made him feel that way in such a long time. Unfortunately, the only feelings that remained from his marriage with Anne were wrath and mistrust. Perhaps he had become a sullen, ill-tempered old man. No! He knew he was a great king, a beloved king. Those who acted against him were going to get punished no matter what; to transgress against the king, was treason.

"Boy," he called for a page, "Find the Queen and bring her to me."


As always, a big Thank You! to everyone for reading and reviewing.
It might be a while before I update again.
I have finals this week and I have yet to take the plastic wrappings off my text books.