After Henry’s tempestuous argument with Arthur, he seeks comfort in the arms of his beloved, Elizabeth Stafford, the Duchess of Norfolk. He pays no heed to Arthur’s warnings of caution. He hopes that Elizabeth will have some helpful ideas so that he could marry her and claim their child as his own. His anger seethed as he thought of his wife, Bessie and Thomas Howard daring to claim HIS child as his own. He had secretly sent a note to Elizabeth and hoped that she was waiting for him in his chambers as he stormed in.
Prince Henry Tudor Z
I slam the door to my chambers in anger and frustration until I see Elizabeth waiting for me. Just looking at her copper tendrils and flashing green eyes makes me desire her and all my angry thoughts of Arthur leave me as I take my enchantress into my arms.
“Elizabeth my love, you look radiant, just like a regal queen would. How are you feeling?” I kiss her soft lips before she can reply and become intoxicated by her sweet scent.
“Elizabeth, you bring me great comfort and strength. I will need that strength to fight Arthur and Norfolk. How dare both of them tell me that I cannot claim my own child? I will NEVER let Norfolk touch our child, my heir.” I bury my face in her flowing locks and the world stands still.
“We must come up with a way to outwit Arthur and Norfolk. Arthur was enraged and sent me from his chambers. He will do nothing to help us and swears the child will be acknowledged as Norfolk’s and that I cannot have. Tell me your thoughts, together we can fight your husband’s rights and foil his plans. He does this out of spite and jealousy.” I slam my fist on the table with a loud bang.” He cannot have what is MINE.”
Duchess of Norfolk UK Z
I look up as my love enters the room, his rage emanating from him as though it were tangible. The day has been trying and I can only imagine the argument with Arthur that had ensued after the spectacle I created. Of course it was a very deliberate spectacle. I had used my condition to steal the queen’s thunder and to make certain that the announcement of my pregnancy was made by Henry himself. Then none could doubt that the prince intended to make me his wife and our child his heir.
My plan had worked even more brilliantly than I could have hoped. Poor, pathetic Bessie had snapped so completely that she had turned any lingering guilt that Henry had possessed into revulsion. He would not hold sympathy for her any longer, not since she had struck me.
I take him into my arms as he enters, soothing his thick dark locks and feel him instantly relax in my embrace. Pressing my lips to his in a tender kiss, my eyes soft and loving, I contain my curiosity to hear more about his meeting with Arthur. Running my hand up his cheek and into his hair, my voice is determined and strong as I reply “Henry my love, none of that matters. Your brother can refuse all he wishes, that will not stop us. Are we going to listen to the jealous ranting of a man not fit to wear the crown?”
My fingers encircle his head, as though running around the brim of the crown that should grace his handsome brow. “When we wrest it from him, and set it upon your head, we shall take them all down with him. The king, his barbarian bride, my husband…and any who have ever even dared to look at you askance. They will all bend the knee and swear homage to the saviour of the realm.”
My words are purred into his ear, a honeyed tone as soft as velvet as my free hand slides up his chest seductively. There was no better way to assuage Henry’s fears than to do so in bed. “My father will help us…your mother will help us…in time, all will see where their true allegiances lie my love, and the throne will be yours…I will be yours…England will have her heir and your father will look down upon you and be the proudest King in the heavens”
Prince Henry Tudor Z
“Elizabeth, I love you more than you can ever know but be careful when you speak thusly. Whilst they are my sentiments too, they are none the less treason and we can NEVER let Arthur hear of it. I do not want one hair hurt on your copper head. You have given me much to think about, will the north support me or Arthur? I should have been the first born male, this is God’s cruel joke. ”
“Why did Arthur not disallow me to marry Bessie who is of common stock? A mereyoung man’s infatuation to get her in my bed but it is to her bed that I shall never return. That marriage is cursed, first my son dies and then she gives birth to a mere girl. Why should the Pope not give me an annulment? It is common amongst royals. We must tread carefully, my mother can be trusted. I will hear her council.”
Elizabeth’s touch as always soothes me and her kisses have me thirsting for her. I eagerly return each kiss but harder with all my passion and pent up desire. I caress her alabaster skin and suckle at her pink nipples but I must control my lust. I cannot chance hurting our child by letting my desire take over my head. I raise myself on one arm and look into those emerald eyes that would entrance any man. I cannot resist playing with her copper tendrils that frame her beauty. I can kiss each freckle forever. I kiss her down her stomach and stare at this magnificent creature in front of me. I may not be able to risk carnal relations but I know just how to please my enchantress and continue kissing her below her stomach.
“Elizabeth, you are MINE, and I will kill any man that tries to take you from me.” Then I become lost in her essence and desire nothing more than to please my soul mate.
Duchess of Norfolk UK Z
I listen to my lover and nod my head in agreement. He was of course right. I must guard my tongue. The words we speak would be enough to lose me my head, and I have no doubt that at this moment, the King would not hesitate to sign the order for my execution if given enough incentive. But that was not to be my fate. I was born to be Queen of this realm, and Queen I will be. Seated at Henry’s right hand, we will claim the kingdom as our own and bring England back to the glory that she deserves…together.
Arthur and his barbarian Queen were not fit to rule. They would not bring England the glory and honour she deserves. Their child would never sit the ancient throne of the realm, Henry and I would make certain of that. England’s prince was growing within me, a prince of true noble English blood that the realm would be proud to herald on the day of his accession. Bessie had failed to produce Henry this wonder…I most certainly would not.
“Of course my love, you are right. I shall guard my tongue more closely, even in private. But I know that our desires will always be as one, because our hearts are as one, entwined forever with love and respect, passion and need. Bessie was never worthy of you. No low born girl ever could be. You deserve a wife who is of the noblest birth, who knows how to conduct herself as a true lady and who can aide you when you will rule. But most of all you deserve a wife you can love, and whom will love you in return with all her heart until your dying day”
The path of Henry’s kisses along the slight swell of my stomach, wherein our child grows safely, brings a deep gasp of desire to my lips. Even after all this time, his very touch could ignite the fire within me as my husband had never been able to do. Henry cared for my pleasure as much as his own, a rather singular outlook amongst most men, and as such, my emerald eyes glittered with anticipation met with a groan of longing, as his lips find their goal.
“I will always be yours Henry, always…no man could ever take me from you…and I will be the Queen you need and deserve…and I shall love you for eternity”
Prince Henry Tudor Z
“Oh my Elizabeth, I cannot imagine my life without you by my side. The greatest folly of my youth was to marry Bessie. If only I had listened to others. I know you had no say in your marriage to Norfolk. But I was a foolish and reckless boy. Now I know what I want and I want you by my side. Our son will rule our great realm. He shall be England’s greatest gift. You must rest my love and be waited on. I shall increase your attendants at once. I want your chambers by mine, if Arthur forbids it then we will leave for Richmond. Now that I say the words out loud, I think moving away from Arthur and Bessie is the only action to take. We will have privacy and I can lavish all my love on you.”
I reach under the bed to take out the necklace made with the biggest and most vibrant emerald I could find. “Close your eyes Elizabeth, do not peak.” I place the necklace around her delicate neck. My eyes drink up her beauty, as she lays naked with only the dazzling emerald. She enhances the jewel. She brings life to it. “Now slowly open your eyes.”
Her gasp of pleasure makes my heart melt. “You deserve to be covered in jewels and the finest Italian silk fabrics. You shall have whatever your heart desires and more. What you have done to keep me safe and the secrets that we share, have intertwined our lives forever.” I caress her alabaster neck, and hold her tightly. No other man and women have as sacred a bond as we have.
I kiss her rose lips softly but that only makes me kiss her fervently, as if she may disappear tomorrow. The thought frightens me, I will increase the number of guards around her, guards who are only loyal to me. I will also meet with Cromwell. If anyone can find a solution to my problems, it will be him. He has a legal mind like no other and I trust him to keep silent. I stand and pour us both a fruity wine from a gold flagon. I hand a goblet to my Elizabeth.
“Let us drink to us and our future, no one will stop us. Not Arthur, Norfolk, Bessie, the Pope or the Viking Queen. We drink to us Elizabeth, to our love and destiny. For God has a plan and I can see it more clearly now
Duchess of Norfolk UK Z
My eyes close at my lovers behest, wondering what he has hidden to show me. I can feel the cold metal snaking around my neck and my heartbeat increases slightly. Henry’s gifts are always extravagant. Not that they need to be, I need nothing but him, but I am still a woman, and what woman does not enjoy being bedecked in the finest things that life can offer?
Opening my eyes, they fall to the mirror opposite the bed and widen with a gasp at the emerald the size of a quails egg now draped around my slender neck. My fingers move up to trace over the exquisitely wrought pendant before turning back to Henry. His face is alight with pleasure and with an almost boyish grin on his face as my delight is evident for him to see.
Henry has always been like this, one moment serious and measured and shrewd, the next as a young boy with a favourite toy. To me, it was an endearing part of his charm that few others saw and I considered myself the luckiest woman in the world for that. I know him as none other could, not even his poor excuse for a wife, for I have delved deeper into his heart than she ever could have hoped to do. I reach out and wrap my hand around the back of his neck, brushing my lips against his with a broad smile:
“Henry my love, you spoil me truly. This is the most beautiful of gifts and I shall wear it with pride because it was given by your hand”
His fervent kiss is full of unspoken meaning. The longer and deeper our affair had continued, the more unbreakable our bond had become. The whispers of the dark magic that blood evokes were perhaps not so unfounded as we would have liked to believe. Our love was sealed with blood, and if we were to take the throne, the bloodshed that it would inevitably take to achieve, would only bind us together even further. I did not baulk at such a thought, though I was wise enough to not voice it to Henry. His conscience still remained my most difficult task to manage. Always lurking at the bottom of any plan of scheme that could be devised, I had to ensure I rationalised out every scenario that could be raised before I voiced my ideas or opinions on most things in an effort to make sure that that is exactly where his tender conscience remained
Yet here in his arm on a night like this, I simply did not care about the outside world or anything else. Arthur and his barbarian be damned. I clink the goblet he hands me to his, my smile tinged with dark purpose as I propose a toast of my own
“To your son…to the heir that will eclipse his peers and be master of the world…to the future King of England…and our dynasty”