Chapter One: French Court
A/N: So, uh, hi :) I know that OC stories aren't very common in the Reign fandom...which is why I'm a little worried about how this one will be received. Pairings are Francis/OC and Mary/Bash. Reyna is a completely fictional character and she and her sons have no historical counterparts.
No Francis, Mary and Bash in this chapter, but I promise that if I do decide to continue, they'll be coming into it soon.
Reviews would be lovely. Not sure if I plan to continue this story yet, but the response from you lovely readers will likely help me decide if it's worthwhile :)
"I don't see what's so special about France." Reyna's tone was dismissive as she drew back the curtain to peer out of the carriage. The French countryside did not appear to differ drastically from that at home in Portugal. Her brother-in-law, Tomas, sighed heavily from where he was sitting across from her, toying with one of his rings.
"I wish you would not complain so." His tone was stern. "I don't see Elian minding the journey."
Reyna looked to her eldest son, who was looking outside with curious wide eyes, strawberry blonde curls billowing about in the slight breeze. At three years old, Elian was of course extremely excited about the prospect of travelling to another country. It was the first time he had left Portugal, and Reyna had to reluctantly admit that it was thanks to Tomas that they had been able to accompany him to France.
It had been almost a year since Reyna had lost her husband, Tomas's half-brother and the Crown Prince of Portugal. Reyna had been a girl of only thirteen when she had married Gerard, who had been twelve years her senior. Yet in the four years they'd had together, she had been happy, until his sudden illness and subsequent death. She had been pregnant with their youngest son at the time, Luis.
Reyna looked down at the sleeping bundle in her arms. Luis was six months old, and already strongly resembled his father. She smiled and stroked back his dark hair. It pained her to think that Gerard had never seen his youngest son, and that Luis would never know his father. Tomas had been good to Reyna – most of the time. But once his father, the King of Portugal, had fallen ill…well, things had changed.
"Elian, I can see the castle," Tomas declared, causing the little boy to look away from the countryside he had been staring at and scamper across to his uncle. Tomas hoisted the child onto his lap and pointed. Reyna swallowed, unable to help feeling nervous. It was almost the same feeling as when she had arrived in Portugal from Spain, all ready to be a bride at only thirteen.
"Come, Elian." Reyna summoned her oldest son as the carriage stopped. Of course, Tomas was the first to exit, breathing in the fresh air. Reyna followed with Luis cradled close and Elian clinging to her free hand. She glanced down at her eldest. Elian was not normally a shy child, a boy who loved to climb and play, and didn't mind if he grazed his hands and knees in the process. He reminded Reyna of her older brothers, who she had not seen since her wedding. How she missed them, and Spain.
"Lord Tomas. Princess Reyna." King Henry approached them with a cold-looking blonde woman who Reyna assumed to be his wife. He spread his arms and smiled. Reyna was not sure what she had been expecting, but it had not been this middle-aged, bald man still so full of vigour. "Welcome to France. We are pleased to entertain you as our guests."
"Thank you, your Majesty." Tomas stepped forward, ever the confident one. He gestured towards Elian and Luis. "My nephews, Crown Prince Elian and Prince Luis."
King Henry stepped forward and kneeled in front of Elian, who watched the French King with wide blue eyes. The boy blinked, before bowing low at the waist like the tiny gentleman he was.
"It's a pleasure, your Majesty."
Henry laughed. "Isn't he just wonderful? I shall have to introduce you later to my son, Crown Prince Francis and his fiancé, Queen Mary of Scotland." Henry's eyes drifted to Reyna. "She is only a little younger than you, Princess."
Reyna had to admit that she was pleased. She often found court to be boring and only ventured there if she was invited, back in Portugal. However, the prospect of making a friend of her own age was an enticing one. She could not help but smile and incline her head.
"But of course, you must have had a long journey." Henry said exuberantly, but Reyna's eyes were fixed on his wife, Queen Catherine. She was regarding the pair of them with a disapproving expression and she could not help but feel slightly awkward under the Queen's intense gaze. "You must rest before you meet the rest of my court."
"Again, we thank you for your hospitality," Tomas stated, before he gestured for his men to start unloading the carriage. He glanced at his sister-in-law, and for some reason Reyna shivered under his inspection, as she had been doing ever since Gerard had died. "I'm sure that Elian and Luis are both exhausted."
Tomas, in truth, did not much mind France. Of course he preferred his homeland of Portugal, but his interest had been piqued upon hearing that Mary, Queen of Scots, was in fact at the court. She was a girl of fifteen, yet already she held so much power. It was enticing to him, perhaps even more enticing than Reyna.
Since his brother's death, Tomas had developed an intense interest in Reyna, perhaps almost akin to an obsession. He was more than ten years her senior, but she was a woman of seventeen and by far no maiden. That auburn hair, those bright green eyes…Tomas had been patient, helping Reyna where he could with her children, but his desire to bed her was stronger than ever. Here even more so than Portugal, where it was only the two of them and their party of men.
"Princess." Tomas entered Reyna's rooms, where she was standing over Luis's cot. By now, Elian was likely asleep in his own room as well. Tomas crossed over to see that the baby was sleeping as Reyna tenderly stroked his hair. She coddled him even more than she had Elian, for knowledge that he would never know his father.
"Tomas, you did not knock." Reyna frowned, her tone somewhat reproachful. She drew away from Luis's cot. Tomas felt a wave of frustration. The girl did not trust him, even now. Had he not been patient? Had he not proved himself trustworthy at every opportunity? He could have had both of her brats killed if he had so desired, in order to have a stronger claim to the throne. But there had been an alternate avenue, and Tomas had seized that opportunity.
"I was not aware that was necessary." Tomas's voice was full of laughter, but his eyes were not. "After all, we are close, are we not? I like to think that we are quite good friends."
"Perhaps," Reyna murmured. She was looking forward to meeting this Mary in the morning, to see what this Queen of Scots was truly made of. Francis also sounded intriguing to her.
"Just perhaps?" Tomas moved closer, and Reyna watched him, biting at her lip. He glanced down at the cot where Luis slept. "The journey seems to have tired the little one."
"It has tired me also," Reyna said, politely yet sharply. "I thank you for visiting to see how I am settling, Tomas, but it is not necessary."
Tomas sighed, realising that Reyna was still not familiar enough with the French court, that she had every right to her suspicions and mistrust of the people. He planted a kiss on her cheek, to which she turned her face, before turning and exiting her room.
There was no doubt in Tomas's mind that Reyna would succumb to him. It had been over a year since she had a man in her bed, and it was not like she had to worry about preserving her virginity. It was only a matter of time before she realised that she wanted him like he wanted her. He was sure of it.