EA A Father’s Choice Part 15

Part 15

Auguste did not want to take his visit to the palace too soon because there was no guarantee the he would be invited again. He waited until he could barely stand being in his own house and then came. It was two weeks later.

His coming to visit elated Henry. He quickly ushered the guest into the library, and ordered some refreshments to be served to them there. He then continued by telling one of the guards to find his sister and tell her that they had company in the library, and that her presence was requested. During all this, his guest perused the shelf. “It is quiet a collection you have here.”

Henry smiled, “Indeed it is. It has been many generations in the making and yet it never seems to have the book I am looking for. I fear that my family’s collection seems to lack in the more modern books. I guess my father is to blame for that one.”

Auguste pulled out a book, “Yes, but there are so many great other. You do not need a modern book while you have so many great ones by Plato.” He places the book back on the shelf.

“You and my sister shall get on capitally. She is a most ardent fan of Plato. I am sure that you have meet her before seeing as she is best friends with Jacqueline.”

“We have met briefly, but you know how young girls are. When together, it is hard to understand them. They seem to have no trouble understanding each other as they both talk at the same time and both at the speed of a hundred words per minute.”

Henry let out a slight laugh. “I believe that I have seen many of girls do just that including them. What is even worse is when they attack me. I could have been visiting with a girl for an hour and all I know is that her name is Catherine and she speaks too quickly for me to understand.”

Right then, Danielle walks in with a servant carrying in refreshments behind her. A smile quickly graces her face, “Auguste, we are glad that you have finally came to see us. Both my brother and I had doubts that you would after we had waited a week in a half for you to come. I simply do not know how you could have managed; I certainly know that I could not have.”

“Yes, well strange as it may sound the longer you live with them the easier it becomes. I have become use to their habits and have become pretty good at staying out of their way.”

“I know it must have not been easy on you to have your wife die, but you did a very good thing in marrying the Baroness. I shudder to think what would have become of Jacqueline otherwise.” Danielle got a smile out of Auguste with that comment. “To be perfectly honest with you, I have always been a bit jealous of Jacqueline. I know it is wrong, but I simply can not help it.”

Auguste looked at her curiously, “Might I inquire why?”

“As I assume you are aware, my father and I do not get along. He is trying to make me into a perfect lady which is not who I am. If it were not for Henry, I do not know how I would have bared all of my lessons. None of which had to deal with subjects that I truly wanted to learn about.”

“Your father is a good man. He simply is trying to do what is best for you. I do not blame him because I want the best for Jacqueline too. Sure, we both have different ideas as to what is right for our children, but our children know that we are doing the best we can.”

This provoked Henry to speak again. He had been spending his time observing them. “Bravo. I could not have said it better myself. I guess it takes a father to understand a father. Now then, let us changed the subject to a more lighter matter.” After that, they discussed some books and other things of that sort. Auguste ended up spending a few hours in their presence and promised that he would soon return with some new books for the Royal pair to read.


Auguste continued his visits. As sad as it might sound, he was much too happy to escape from his home. Both Henry and Danielle enjoyed his company, but it was obvious that Danielle enjoyed it more. Probably because he was exactly what she thought a father should be, and also because he seemed to have an unlimited supply of knowledge to provided her with.

A week before Danielle’s seventeenth birthday, he had to go out of town. Well, he did not exactly have to go out of town, but he chose to. He did not want to be around when she was told the truth because he feared that he would tell her who he truly was. He gave her a gift a fine new book that was filled with things that would interest her, and then was gone for a fortnight.

He was gravely missed, but the pain was easily dealt with because the Marquis and his wife had returned home. They lightened the mood of a very serious castle.

Danielle was excited about her birthday and was unable to see why everyone seemed to be so tense. As usual, a ball was to be held in her honor. She kept herself occupied by picking out a dress, and helping the cooks in the kitchen. It was something that she always secretly did.

Marie was tense because of Francis. She was unsure how he would tell Danielle the truth, but could only hope that he would not insist on telling her at the same time that he told the whole kingdom.

The night was quickly upon them, and everyone prepared himself or herself for the event. The evening started smoothly. Everyone was enjoying themselves either by dancing, socializing, or something along those lines. Francis had made it a point to stay out the way. Soon he would take action by giving Danielle a toast. One that he would never forget.

Danielle took ever offer to dance that came her way. She did not discriminate against anyone because of his lack of title or anything else for that matter. She was here tonight to simple enjoy herself. Many eyes followed her that evening. One of which was her brother. He dare not dance with her although it was sometimes his custom. He simple just enjoyed watching her from afar.

Eventually, Danielle grew tired of dancing and took a seat by her mother to try and refresh herself. Neither one of them talked much, but simple enjoyed being able not to have to talk. Soon Danielle was whisked away by a new partner. She planned to dance as much of the night as possible. Marie simple watched Danielle and hoped that she would always remember this night for the good and bad.

As the hour advanced, Francis knew that he could no longer put off his announcement. Everyone who was planning on coming to the ball was there and those who always left early would soon be gone. He beckoned for Marie and Henry to join him. He them stood up and cleared his throat. Almost immediately, everyone became silent. Both Marie and Henry drew in sharp breaths for they knew of the coming danger.

Francis ignored them. “I would like to make an announcement to the people of France, but mainly my daughter if she would please step forward.” Danielle walked through the crowd and up to her father. “For many years, we have disagreed. I have always been trying to make you become something that you are not. There is a reason that you could not have known for why I behaved as such, but I must now tell you.”

“If I could have thing my way, you would never have been told, but it is part a deal I made. Although, I doubt that them man I made it with would even know the difference.” Here Francis drew in a deep breath as he watched Danielle’s face fill with worry. “On the night of your birth, your mother gave birth to a child. That child was the true princess of France. Unfortunately for her, she died that night leaving me despairing over the loss of my child. In the garden that night, a man left a child on our doorstep and asked that someone raised the child as our own. That child was you.”

There was a sudden gasp among the courtiers at this news, but Danielle kept her eyes locked on her father. What he said explained so much, but at the same time it made her feel empty. “What does this mean?” her voice barley being heard over the racket of the courtiers.

Francis tried to break eye contact, but her look was simply to strong for him. “It means that I can no longer acknowledge you as my daughter. By law, I have to strip you of your title. If you were still sixteen I could adopt you and you would regain your title, but now it is too late. Nevertheless I do wish that you will stay in the palace.”

Danielle took a look at her ‘family.’ They meant everything to her, and yet she did not believe that she would be able to stay with them any longer. She gave a simple nod and casually walked out of the room.

The Sum of All Fears

just got back from a pre-screening, tho full-print, about a half an hour ago. u know how Spider-man and AOTC are blockbusters? and u know how Harry Potter and LOTR are too, but are more….”grounded”? Sum of all Fears combines all of that into what i would consider, until Minority Report comes out, the BEST summer movie out in a while.

Ben Affleck is…incredible. everything works in this film…except for consistencies, but these are only relatable to the other movies and the book so they really can’t be counted. u could really see Affleck embody Ryan…the snide comments, kick-ass attitude, all the while romancing an incredible love interest (which was sadly explored, then dropped, then picked up again).

great, great movie…and fantastic to see John Clark in the movie (big fan of the books, and always enjoyed the movies). just one hell of a time at the theatre. how’s that for a highly critical review? 😉

Standarized Test=Evil

I had to take the ACT this morning. I was not happy. I had to get up so much earlier then i wanted to to take a test that does not really test my knowledge. Does anyone else think that tests like the ACT only test your knowledge of taking test? I am thinking aobut using that for a collage entry essay next year….

To Have and To Hold Chapter 22

Chapter 22

“Danielle, wait.”

Danielle turned around and stopped. It was Jean Claude.

“May I walk with you?”

“Right now, Jean Claude, I would like to be myself.”

“Is something wrong? I am a good listener, you know.”

Danielle looked at him. “There is nothing wrong at all, Jean Claude. I am a little confused.”

“It’s about Monique and Henry, isn’t it?”

How did he know? Danielle thought, watching his eyes. Did I give that much away?

“My step-sister thinks that everyone is interested in every thing she does. “

“Yes, well.” Danielle was still watching him. He wasn’t leaving her alone, not even for a second. Maybe if she gave into him he would quit following her.

“Perhaps there is a little something that you can do for me, after all,” she answered, smiling. “Come,” she said, taking his hand, “let’s go for a little walk.”

She watched out of the corner of her eye as she heard laughter coming from inside the ruined church. She didn’t have to turn around.

“Come on, Jean-Claude, I want you to see something.” And she took his hand and pulled him away.

Henry and Monique were laughing as they walked through the doorway, but Henry’s smile soon turned to concern when he watched Danielle pulling Jean-Claude up to the top of the hill.

“Danielle,” he called out, “wait for me, where are you going?” When she didn’t stop, Henry started chasing her up the hill.

“Wait, Henry, where are you going? I thought that we…”

“Stay,” Monique said, putting his arms around him waist.

“I cannot,” Henry said, “maybe some other time, Monique, but I have something that I must do.”

And with that, Henry ran after her, hoping that it was not too late.

To Have and To Hold Chapters 20 – 21

Chapter 20

Danielle’s tutor, Mademoiselle Juliet le Monde, had arrived right on schedule. The only problem was that Danielle had fallen asleep. She hadn’t realized how exhausted she had become.

“Lady Danielle, if you do not mind, we have a few subjects to touch on, so I would appreciate it if you could give me your undivided attention.”

Danielle could hardly move. She lifted one eyelid, then the other.

“Yes Mademoiselle,” she said, trying to stand up.

Danielle had never gone through such torture, especially when it came to what she termed as “royalty lessons.”

Mademoiselle le Monde made her balance books on her head for perfect posture, taught her how to walk and talk and to enunciate those words clearly.

Danielle dropped the books, couldn’t follow all the dainty steps and didn’t want to bother with speaking correctly.

After the first four hours were over, she was never so happy to see the outside world.

Meanwhile, at the castle, Henry, Francois and Laurent were doing the same thing, namely falling asleep.

Not only that, but Hector was having the devil of a time keeping all three of them awake.

He had to think up something quick, so he came up with a learning game, which the boys found interesting.

Finally, Henry thought, perking up a little, an interesting tutor. Someone I can get excited about.

But Henry was still looking forward to leaving and meeting with Danielle at their usual place.

He ran from the castle forgetting the journal that they were supposed to read. He was unaware that Danielle had two unwanted guests with her.

Danielle was so happy that she had almost forgotten about the promise to her father. She decided that she didn’t want to remember and let it go at that. As she ran from the house, she discovered that Monique and Jean Claude were standing outside waiting for her.

Well, she thought, so much for trying to escape.

“Come on, you two, let’s go. I don’t want to be late.”

She tried to talk to, but everything she tried to say fell on deaf ears. No one would respond to her.

All except for Jean Claude who had a funny smile on his handsome face. He kept staring at her as they walked.

Danielle was unprepared for what was about to happen next.

Chapter 21

Henry waited impatiently for Danielle to come. He wasn’t sure of these feelings he had for her. They were new to him. They had met when she was two and he was four. Back then, he felt as if he were a big brother to her, watching over her and playing with her. As they grew, they became fast friends, Henry surprised at how quick Danielle.

He hadn’t noticed when his feeling switched from friendship to something a little more involved.

Now all he wanted was to be with her and he could not stop thinking about her.


He heard her voice and turned around to face the ruined entrance, a large grin covered his face.

The smile faded when he saw she had company.

“These are my cousins, Henry,” Danielle said, introducing them. “You remember Monique and this is…”

Henry’s eyes grew wide. “Monique? Is that you?”

“Yes, Henry, it is. “

Danielle looked at Henry and found that he was staring at her cousin. Alright, she thought, maybe Monique was a year older than she was, but she thought that Henry liked her. She didn’t know how to react.

“You look a little different than you did the last time I saw you.”

“I was only eight three years ago, Henry, the last time you saw me. I will be your age in six months.”

Henry smiled. “Well, maybe we can get to know each other again, that is if Danielle doesn’t mind.”

He looked at her and discovered she was staring right back at him a little confused.

“Well,” he said, “we are all together and we should get to know each other. All of us.” He turned to Jean Claude. “And that includes you whoever you are.”

Before he or Danielle could answer, Monique piped up. “This is my stepbrother, Jean Claude, Henry,” she said, walking toward him. “But he isn’t as intelligent and witty as you.”

Henry blushed and moved closer.
Danielle was watching Monique and Henry rediscover each other. He was talking a mile and minute and she was responding. Well, she had enough of this. She turned on her heel and walked out the ruined door, Henry not even noticing.

Someone else had though. He grinned and followed her out.

EA A Father’s Choice Part 14

Swiftness is the new fashion

Part 14

Things settled down for awhile after that day. Danielle and Francis went back to their old way of not speaking, and Henry was able to be there for Danielle. Jacqueline and Charles were constant visitors. Jacqueline was there to discuss wedding plans with Danielle, who was now completely over Charles, and Charles came to see his friend.

Normally, they would all meet together for a bit of entertainment. Sometimes they would play cards, while other times the ladies would grace them with a song. It was on one such occasion two months later that Henry found himself in a bit of an awkward situation.

Jacqueline sang first. Her song was sung with perfect grace, style, and taste. Charles truly admired her as ever note flowed freely from her lips. Anyone who could have looked at Charles’ face as she sang would have known that he was long gone from the real world and into a world all his own.

Danielle sang next. Her song of choice was one that when she was little she admired anyone who could sing it. Now, with that same perfect grace, style, and taste Jacqueline had she sang it, but there was something else there. As she sang, she showed raw emotion. Henry could not help but to admire her.

He thought that he was capable of doing so without letting the world know, but he was mistaken. After the song was finished and the ladies started to chatter, Charles turned to him, and said in a low voice, “If I did not know better, I would think you were an admirer of your own sister.” Charles gave a heart filled laugh, which Henry tried to copy. “But seriously, the way you looked her while she sang made me think of something. Has there been a lass who I do not know about who has sang that song to you and you were reminded of her just now? For if I did not know any better, I would say that you are in love.”

Henry felt a blush rise in his cheeks. “I shall neither confirm nor deny that claim.”

Charles face was full of spirit. “Why have you not spoken of her? And why have I not heard of her from even a gossiping courtier? Surely you would not with hold the information from me now that I have found out.”

“Sorry Charles, but I can not tell you more then I told Danielle. If I did, it would probably be the end of me.”

Danielle’s ears perked up at the sound of her name. “What is it that you two are talking about that involves me?”

Henry smiled, “I was merely telling him that it was hopeless for him to try to get information about my lass. For I will not budge, and you know that.”

“Yes all he will tell me is that she if a French noble who has beautiful hair, and is well learned.” Danielle paused for a moment. There was something else he told her, but she could not for the life of her remember what it was. “There was something else, but he told me all of this so long ago that I do not remember it anymore.”

Charles looks at Henry, “How long have you had this infatuation? I can not believe that you would hide it from such a good friend as I for so long. I demand to know does anyone on this Earth know who the girl is?”

Henry thought for a moment, and then nodded. “One persons know, but I did not tell them. They just figured it out on their own. They have never said a word to it about me, but I am positive that they know.”


And so another two months flew by without anyone getting any closer to knowing Henry’s secret. The time had now came for the marriage of Jacqueline and Charles. Both had disliked the long delay, but they had to wait for Auguste to get back from one of his trips. On his return, he brought with him many unique gifts for the bride and groom. Including some books, which Danielle was already determined to borrow from them.

The wedding was to take place Manor. Danielle had volunteered to let them have their pick of the flowers from the Royal garden, and she had the palace cooking staff supply all the food for the reception. The wedding was beautiful and only conceited of a few good friends and of course family. Two member of the family of the bride everyone would have been happy to do with out, but that task would be impossible. Henry had often joked with Charles about his new mother and sister.

After the wedding, everyone gather out on in the garden to wish the bride and groom well before they left for their honeymoon. Danielle and Henry had to go their separate ways once the couple had left for their honeymoon in Italy. Danielle talked with her friends from court while the females of court chased Henry around. One of them was Marguerite.

Marguerite felt as if she had more rights to claim Henry then anyone else. For starters, her sister was the one to get married today. Although, she never thought that she would need a reason to see Henry. She simply thought that he would need to see her because if he didn’t his heart would most definitely be broken.

Through out the evening, Marguerite was always at his side. Henry did not enjoy it too much. To be quiet honest, he did not enjoy it at all, but what could he do. To make maters worse, Danielle never got with in ten feet of Marguerite unless it was absolutely unavoidable.

Marguerite put her best flirting powers to use because she did not know when she would next be able to be with the Prince for an entire day. Every word that came out of her mouth he found to be most unagreeable, and he saw little hope of relief.

To him it was a miracle, to see Auguste come to his rescue. He knew little of the man, but what he did he believe to be entirely good. Henry knew that Danielle would have loved to have this man as her father. Auguste tapped Marguerite on the shoulder, “I believe Marguerite that you are wanted in the house.” He could see in her eyes that she was going to rebel. “I recommend that you travel with haste.” She gave him one long evil glare before heading into the house.

Henry smiled at him. “Thank you. You have no idea how insufferable that was. I thought that she would never close her mouth. I tried to delicately drop hints, but she took none of them.”

Auguste gave Henry a pat on the back, “Your Highness, I am afraid that I know just how insufferable she can be. She gets it from her mother.” Here he paused a moment before he continued. “I was most happy to have Jacqueline happily married, but I have to admit I am going to miss having her around. I do not know how I shall ever survive with these two always breathing down my neck. Perhaps I shall just stay out of town more since I won’t have Jackie here to bribe me into staying.”

“No need to go out of town. You have saved me from her, so I would like to return the favor. At your leisure come to the palace. I understand that you are well read. I am positive that my sister shall absolutely delight in you. Ah, and here she is now.” Danielle had just been coming over to greet another friend. “Danielle I believe that you would enjoy Auguste presence at the palace? For otherwise he is stuck with the Baroness and Marguerite.”

Danielle smiled. “Oh do come to see us there. I wish those two people on no one.”

Auguste thankfully excepted the invitation that meant more to him then either of them would ever know. He would finally after so many years of watching her grow up from afar be able to get to know his daughter.

[ Edited by Kristen on 2002/6/8 23:12:30 ]

EA A Father’s Choice Part 13

Part 13

Danielle knew better then to pry for more information. Instead, she did the most with the information that was presented to her. She stored it safe in her mind for further examination later. She was then reminded of the true reason she had come up here. “Father wanted me to ask you if you would be down for lunch. Which I fear that we now might have missed because of my blabbering.”

Henry raised an eyebrow. Since when did Danielle speak to his father? A lot of things have changed since he left the palace. Henry took a quick look outside. “If we hurry, we shall make it there right on schedule.” Henry took Danielle’s arm, and they walked down to the dinning chambers.

When they entered, they were received with smiles from their mother, and a stern look from their father. “I was afraid that you had got lost Danielle,” he said in his most stern voice. Henry shook his head. Maybe not as much as he thought had changed. He walked Danielle to her chair and pulled it out for her with out thinking anything of it until his father spoke, “Since when do you pull out a chair for your sister?”

Henry could have hit himself. It was not typical that a brother would pull out a chair for his sister unless at a formal occasion, and still then it never happened. Marie did her best to cover for him. “Francis, he is so use to pulling out chairs for ladies that he did it with out thinking.”

Francis did not seem to like this explanation, but he was sidetracked by something else Marie had said. “Yes, well I think you presume too much in calling our daughter a lady. Her behavior in the last few months hardly deserves that title. She is bad judge of what is good and what is bad for her. She should know better than to turn down proposal for marriage without even consulting me. Especially, when they are from a fine man like the Marquis. Now, it is too late since he has recently become engaged. You may never get a better offer. I personally would not want take you even if you are a princess.”

“Francis, please. You are too hard on her. She is doing the best she can to please you, but I believe not even God is capable of doing that!” Marie cast an eye on her two children. She could see that Danielle was much upset and looked as if she was about to flee the room. Henry however had a different expression. His face held rage at what his father said, and yet showed love that Marie could only guess was for Danielle. “Besides, there are many men out there who will love her. In fact, I would not be surprised if she were to receive a proposal from a Prince.”

Henry looked up at his mother. He did not understand how his mother could know so quickly. He himself had just figured it out. Of course, his mother had known the truth much longer then he had. She could probably have seen it coming.

Francis once again felt the need to open his mouth. “A Prince? Marie you really have out done yourself this time. I would have never come up with that one on my own. Sometimes I really regret decisions made that night that Danielle came into our lives. You know how easily everything could have been different.”

Both Henry and Marie gave him an evil look at that one. A moment later Danielle fled the room. Marie stared at her husband. “I hope you’re happy.” Then she went after her daughter.

Francis did wear a smile upon his face. “Well, now that we have gotten rid of the women would you like to take a seat and join me for some lunch. We have a great deal to catch up on, and we shall be able to do it more easily with them gone.” Francis sat down and began to eat his meal as if nothing had happened.

Henry, on the other hand, stood staring at his father with absolute disgust. “You do know that I use to take your side in these little arguments with Danielle, but I do not believe that it is right for me to do so anymore. You use to claim that she argued for the sake of arguing, and yet you are the one who starts talking about a topic that I am sure has been discussed before merely to see the reaction it shall bring. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.”

Francis had stopped eating, and was now staring up at his son. “I will not have you lecture me. Your mother does that enough. You speak of things that you do not understand.”

“No, it is you who speaks of thing that you do not understand. All you know and all you care to know is that Danielle rejected an offer from a man who you thought should be excepted. There is much more to the story than you know. I have no intention on telling you because I can see that you are only going to hear what you want to hear. Now if you will excuse me I am going to see how Danielle fairs.”

Henry was almost out of the door when he hears his father calling him. He reluctantly turns to hear what his father has to say. “Henry, I am proud of you. I have always done right by you. Your sister has not gotten the treatment that she deserves and I am sorry for it. Her whole life I have been concentrated on making her the perfect lady, but such a thing does not exist. I am just trying to prepare her for a time when life might not be so easy.”

Henry was thinking that he might receive a confession. “And when might that be?” He was disappointed because his father had gone back to eating and would no longer pay the least bit of attention to him. He quickly inquired from a guard as to which direction the ladies had gone, and proceeded to chase after them. While he looked for them, he began to think that maybe his father had truly done what he thought was best. His father was trying to prepare her for the reaction that she might receive from the court. But no matter how many times he thought about it, he still did not think that his father should treat her so poorly.

It took time, but he was able to find the ladies in the room where Danielle use to take lessons. He knocked gently on the door and was admitted into the room. He quickly took in his surroundings. Danielle was sitting in a window seat, and Marie was standing behind her. He slowly approached them. “Has he been this bad since the incident.”

Marie nodded. “He seems to think that once Danielle turns seventeen no one is going to want to marry her.” Henry gave a knowing nod; he know understood his mother’s whole meaning in that statement.

Danielle looked up at them. She was not crying but was extremely upset. “I do not understand why he has always been fascinated with my seventeenth birthday. It is as if he fears that on that day I shall turn into a pig or something. Although, if I were a pig I would probably be seen in a better light then the one I he sees me in now.”

Henry spoke. “I do not agree with how he treats you, but I am sure that there is a reason for it. He cares about you very much, but he has never been one that was good at showing his feelings. If you give him time, I am sure that he will turn around for you.”

Danielle stares at her brother. “My patience with him is getting thin, for I have given him nothing but time. To make matters worse, the more time I give him the more disagreeable he gets. What do you have to say to that?”

“Danielle there is much that you and I do not understand about why father is the way he is.”

Danielle turns and looks out the window, “You always have something to say don’t you?” Marie gives Henry a stern look that tells him that he is doing much more harm then good. Danielle continues, “Sometimes I have to wonder why you never seem to take my side when it comes to father.”

Henry sat down next to Danielle. “I do take yours side more than you know. Before I came here, I had just finished giving father a good yelling. I try not to take sides, but instead try to negotiate. I guess you could blame father for that. It seems because of him I am no good at choosing sides, but today I will. Danielle, he had no right to say what he said to you. I am ashamed to call him my father after seeing the way that he treats you.”

Danielle gave him a slight smile, “Thank you. It is good to know that someone is on your side.”

Marie looked from one face to the other. She only hoped that they would be able to weather the storm that was ahead of them especially Danielle. Henry had already heard the warnings, but Danielle was going to be caught completely of guard.

EA A Father’s Choice Part 12

Part 12

A tear silently fell down Danielle’s face. She did her best to try and wipe it away before Henry noticed. In her head, she was yelling at herself, “Get a grip Danielle. This has not bothered you for a month. Why should you worry about it now? It is not worth your time to think about it.”

Henry sat down next to Danielle. He did his best to study her face in order to find out what was going on inside of her mind. Another tear escaped her, and she was not able to hide this one. Henry quickly wiped it away and then asked, “Danielle what is it? Something is wrong and you will not tell me. You always use to come to me with your problems first.”

“It is very complicated. A lot of things have happened since you went away, and I have been hiding how I truly felt from the world.”

Henry wanted to put his arm around her to comfort her, but he hesitated for a second. His mind was screaming at him that she was not his sister, but he knew that she still thought she was so he should treat her accordingly. “Danielle, I am here for you. Tell me all of your problems and I shall help you to sort them out.”

Danielle drew in a deep breath. “Alright, but you better make yourself comfortable. Right before you left, I heard some courtiers gossiping in the garden. Normally, I would not listen, but they mentioned my name and I could not resist. They were talking about Charles and I. They were sure that I would marry him, and that he knew how to play all of his cards right. At the time, I saw him as merely a friend, and their comments awakened me to a whole new feeling, but they also ruined this simple felicity’

“I quickly found myself caring more and more for Charles. It was not immediate; it was in fact rather the opposite. In my heart, I knew that with enough time I would find myself deeply in love with him. The time my heart needed was not given to me. When I was just barely seeing him in this new light, he asked me to be his wife. Foolish as it was, my mind drifted back to what I had heard the courtiers talk about in the garden. I tried to make myself believe that he was only after me because of my crown’

“When I look back at that day, I realize that if that thought had not came into my head I would have married him. Instead, I made sure that he would never think about marrying me again. I listed to him all of my faults, and then fled to my room where I cried until the tears stopped coming.’

“He came to see me the next day, but I refused to go see him claiming that I had a headache. He kept on coming every day for three weeks. Finally, I sent him a letter that begged him to let go of any feelings he might have for me, and to not visit me again until he did. It was another two weeks before he came again. I had now had proper time to convince myself that I was over him,even though I am still not complete over him. He, on the other hand, had been very much upset for two weeks, and then moved on.’

“It was on one of his many trips back home from the palace that he realized this. He and Jacqueline had been friends for awhile because of their mutual friendship with me. Well, that day she was outside working when he rode by. He decided to pay her a little visit. Each day he would first come to see if I would talk to him, and then he would go see Jacqueline. When I sent the letter that pressed him not to come, he hardly minded at all.’

“He would simply go and visit Jacqueline the same way he use to visit me. Jacqueline still would come to see me, but she always seemed distracted. Never once did she mention Charles’ visit to her. Well, when Charles came to see me again Jacqueline was also visiting me. It was then that I saw how much they were in love although neither of them would admit it. Both came to me for counsel and I told them that I was convinced that their feelings were shared.’

“A week later, they approached me arm and arm while I was reading in the garden. They said that they had some rather important news to relay to me. They had become engaged. Charles had done it in a way much more romantic then the way he proposed to me. He had taken her to Amboise and while the sun was setting he confessed his love to her, and asked her to be his. She was a bit shocked, but very eager to comply and so they became engaged.’

“I had mixed feelings about the whole thing, but I played my part well. When they told me, I congratulated them and wished them many year of marital bliss. I held in all of my feelings just as father had me taught to do. I never thought I would be thankful for all the lessons father gave me, but that day I was. Once they had left, I went to my room and let out all of my tears. It was as if there was a waterfall in my room. After only a few minutes of crying, I made myself stop. I had been the one who had give up Charles. I had no right to be upset about it.’

“Since that day, I have refused to let myself cry about it. Well, if you do not count right now. Charles and Jacqueline come here daily and I do my best to share in their happiness. Both have tried to play matchmaker for me, but I am not eager in being matched. They do not push me because most of the time they are too caught up in each other. I really truly wish them the best, but some times I wish it was me instead of Jacqueline.”

Danielle pressed her face into her brother’s chest. The tears were now freely falling down her face. Through out her speak, they had fallen, but it was now an explosion of tears. Henry held her tight. He would have done anything possible to remove all the pain from Danielle. All he found that he could do was to tell her that everything would be all right in time.

Henry wanted to tell her so much more, but he did not dare to. He would most likely add to her pain by telling her the truth. Besides, his mother did not want for Danielle to know any sooner then she absolutely had to.

Danielle pulled away from Henry. Her tears had suddenly stopped. “Henry, what is it? You have a look on your face as if you have something that you need to tell someone and yet you do not dare. Something is wrong isn’t it? Is it one of our parents?”

Henry shook his head. “All is all right, Danielle. I was just merely thinking of how brave you have been since I left,” he lied. “I am very proud of you. You have proven yourself to be most noble.” He could tell by the look on her face that she was not buying it.

“Something about you had changed, Henry.” Danielle stared into her brother’s eyes. “There is more then one thing that you are not telling me. I can see it in your eyes.” Danielle stared into his eyes a bit more. Then she suddenly exclaimed, “You are in love, aren’t you? Pray tell who is the lucky lady? Did you meet her in England and is that why you stayed there longer then you said you would?”

Henry did not know what to say. A soft blush formed on his face. He should have known that Danielle would be able to figure things out. He would not let her find out the whole secret though because that would destroy him. “And so what if I am in love?”

Danielle hit him with a pillow. “Oh be fair Henry. I have poured my heart out to you the least that you could do is to do the same for me.” Danielle looked him in the eye, “You do not have to tell me her name, but merely tell me a bit about her. Please?”

“I suppose it is only fair that I do tell you a bit about my mystery women.” Henry thought for a moment before he spoke again. He had to make sure that he did not give away too much information. “Well, she is beautiful hair, and she is French nobleman. Let see, she is well learned and has the voice of an angel.” Here Henry stopped.

Danielle looked at him as if to ask if that’s all, but did not. She knew that she should be grateful for getting any information on him. “Well, from you description I have been able to narrow it done to any courtier who has a drop of French blood in her. Nevertheless, I am happy for you, and look forward to one day meeting her.”

Henry spoke quietly, “You already have.”

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