Edward Seymour sat in the great library of Wulf Hall, pondering the latest events of court with a passive, contemplative expression upon his face. As his mind wandered off, his brother and sisters enter the room suddenly, the noise breaking his scheming trance. Thomas skirted across the room, pretending to waltz with a bottle of wine as his bubbly Elizabeth and glorious Jane giggled at his antics, trailing behind him. Edward just stared at his brother in silence as they all took a seat near him.
Hearing Edward’s voice, Thomas modifies and slows his steps to match the moves he learnt from Isabella. He inwardly smiles but his eyes glitter at his lustful memories of the Spanish Court.
Edward rolled his eyes at his brother and then cleared his throat loudly, interrupting his siblings who looked at him with the sweetest of smiles. He chuckled lightly and started:
“Now I know you have all heard the rumours of court. That His Majesty is becoming quite disillusioned with Queen Anne, thanks to her failure in the birth of an heir. Some say her downfall is near. Others say that history is about to repeat itself…and I agree.”
For once, Edward smiles mischievously.
“Our cousin who is very close to the King, Francis Bryan has confirmed this. Though he is cousin to the Boleyn’s as well, he knows when to get off a sinking ship. Out of frustration, His Majesty is now running rampant with his mistresses but eventually he will tire of them and wish to settle once more. Anne, unfortunately for her, is like fire. Too wild, demanding, tempestuous. Though fire is responsible for life, it destroys more than it saves. Someone like that is never good for the King’s ego. She will burn herself eventually. Jane, however is Water. Cool, compliant, pure, tasteful. Water is responsible for everything alive and everything that needs to grow. The Kingdom needs to grow in more than one way. So, I say we give His Majesty a cup of water, and soon he’ll be looking to own the river.
As Edward finishes his speech, Thomas double taps his heels on the floor, squares his shoulders, looks severely at his sisters frowns and shouts
He slowly bends forward pretending the Wine Chalice is his partner, holding ‘her’ in his arms, he places the most delicate kiss on the Receptacle.
Straightening, he then flops next to his sisters. Turning to Edward, a grin spreads across his face,
”Oír es obedecer, mi Maestro,” turning to Jane, he takes her beautiful hand in his,
“Edward, when we speak of our Sister, Henry will be drinking rivers of the French Grape, not the stale water of English rivers. He will be intoxicated by her Noble Beauty, drunk on her Gentle Grace and consumed by her Smouldering Passions, just lying beneath the surface!!”
Releasing Jane’s hand, Thomas whistles three notes, his Spaniel ‘Norfolk’ pads into the room. The dog’s claws click softly on the floor as he enters, as always his tail is wagging furiously and his amber eyes gleam with excitement.
Thomas points to his Sisters feet, letting out a playful bark, Norfolk curls around his Mistresses lower legs, his bright eyes plead for his ears to be scratched.
Jane leans down and obligingly scratches Norfolk’s ears and smiles as he presses his soft head into her hand, taking a moment to consider the words of her two beloved brothers. Jane too has seen the signs, has spoken to the Lady Madge Shelton about this very topic and seen the King’s eyes gaze upon the Queen’s own Ladies- and Madge achieved her desire of the King! She continues to play with Norfolk’s ears as he warms her feet and directs her smile to her siblings.
“My brothers, you are so sweet, and certainly are biased. The Queen’s ladies are all abuzz on the Queen’s fall from grace. He already has taken the sweet Madge in his arms and is enjoying…. the change of temperament.”
I smile and pull my fingers away as Norfolk attempts to kiss my hand in appreciation of the attention. I look sternly at Edward, then Thomas.
”I will not become another mistress for the King.
Elizabeth rises to her sister’s defence as she plays with her cup of wine.
“Brothers, how can you even suggest such a thing to Jane? Besides, as Queen Anne has showed us, the only way to keep the kings attention is to not enter his bed. Jane your countenance being so different from the queen might comfort and soothes him. There is nothing wrong with catching his eye and letting your attributes shine.”
Elizabeth smiles at Jane and her brothers as she slowly drinks her wine, watching Norfolk frolic with Jane.
Edward chuckles softly, smirking over his goblet as he takes a sip.
“Surely, my sweet sisters have more faith in me than that. Of course, I do not intend for any of my sisters to be bedded and tossed aside like a common whore. A Seymour Lady is too good for that. No. All I am suggesting is a simple introduction. An introduction to the peaceful family life, I’m sure His Majesty craves now. Jane will do nothing more than be introduced and speak, if His Majesty should offer conversation. I believe her mere presence will do the rest. So…” Edward turns to Jane with a slow smile.
“What say you, little sister? Are you ready to start this process? To become Queen of England?”
Jane arches an eyebrow and continues to smile steadily.
“There is no harm in trying, as long as you will not throw me in to be tossed out when his Majesty is finished.”
Jane sits straight up, arranges her features into her most regal countenance, with a glint of humour in her eyes and looks directly at Edward.
“My dear brothers and sister, let us begin our quest to become England’s first family. If Anne could do it, why not I?”
Edward smiles slyly, ”I can assure you all, no Seymour will ever be used and tossed side. Besides, we excel in one area that the Boleyn’s do not, which is their failure… subtlety.”
Edward chuckled softly as he looked about his siblings. Thomas was looking satisfied, Elizabeth had taken Jane’s hand, both looking excited at the possibility at moving out of the shadows of the Howard’s and Boleyn’s. Soon the Boleyn’s would fall and the Seymour’s would rise.
This was just the beginning.