Fight for the Crown

Katherine Seymour is fighting for a place on the throne of England, and she's prepared to do anything for the chance to be Queen. Kidnapping the first born son of the king, seducing a prince and murdering the queen are all risks she's prepared to take.


3. Chapter 2

My usually smooth glossy chestnut hair is limp, and drowned in perspiration and rain water. I’m unsure whether the child is alive or not, I gave up checking his heartbeat four hours ago. But that doesn’t matter, because, soon I’ll be sitting in a bath of boiling water, wearing fine clothes, being waited on by many ladies and eating some decent food. With this warm thought occupying my mind, I ride up to the iron gate of my home castle and stop my horse, watching the two guards lower their pikes as usual.

“I am Katherine Seymour, daughter of William, the Duke of Gloucester.” I pause, waiting for the guards to raise their pikes and the gates to swing open, revealing my father and the merry court. Nothing happens. My horse shifts uncomfortably under my weight and I grip the reins tighter, so hard my knuckles go white.

“I order you to open this gate.” I say, my face forming an angry scowl. Again, I was ignored. I try moving closer towards the gates, but the guards menacingly point their pikes at me and my horse rears up in fright. With the baby starting to bawl in my left arm, I yanked on the reins with the other and finally managed to make my horse stand still.


A glimpse of movement on the balcony above caught my eye. Unlike the black ravens or white doves, this was red. The colour of the royal crest. Standing above me, dressed in a smart navy riding jacket is, none other than Prince Richard. I let out a scream of hatred, roaring in anger at the innocent Prince who stands on the balcony, where my father so often stood. The guards, despite their emotionless manner, flinch away from my sudden hostility. The next few moments are spent in silence, a strange comparison to my recent outburst, and I consider how they beat me to my own home. They must have travelled throughout the night whilst I was tucked up in a local inn.


“Katherine,” Richard says, holding his arms out and shrugging his shoulders. “Who would have thought we’d see you here.” He smiles down at me, knowing he’s already won.

“If it isn’t Prince Richard and his merry men.” I reply, smiling prettily at him.

“Now Katherine, I’m going to ask you to do something very simple.” Richard widens his eyes and speaks in a manner that would suit the child in my arms more than me. “Hand over the child.”

“No.” I say, feeling in the folds of my skirt for my dagger.

“Katherine, please.” He says, his eyes begging me. I slowly shake my head, raising my dagger above the child’s head.

“I’ll kill him right now.” I warn everyone, fear creeping into my soul.

“Katherine, if you kill him, then you’ll be executed and you have over twenty eyewitnesses who would be happy to tell the truth. Killing him will result in you having nothing to bargain with but a dead body and a blood stained blanket.” Richard says softly, his arms held out towards me, as if to embrace me. I swallow, and slowly lower my dagger before looking back up at him.


“Where’s my father?” I ask hoarsely, my eyes glazing over with a film of tears.

“We drove him out. He’s being held captive with the rest of his household by the river.” As soon as he gives me the information I turn my horse to gallop off towards my family but am stopped by a wall of armed men. I sigh in distress and turn back to the prince waiting on the balcony.

“Do you remember, Katherine, when I was your father’s ward and we would go riding together?” he smiles at the memory, but his face hardens at the next part. “But now we’re enemies, because you’re hungry for power you’ll never have.” Richard looks at me in scorn and I can feel my heart drop inside my chest.

“My father is the reason your brother is king! He owes us everything! I should have married him! I should be queen! Not that witch Elizabeth!” I yell at him in anger. He ignores me and continues recalling past memories.

“I was to marry you, Katherine. Me, Henry, your father, we’d arranged it all, but then Henry married Elizabeth, he was meant to marry a French princess to strengthen the bond between our countries. You were never to become queen, Katherine. Never.” He looks at me pitifully, and I feel my skin itching. I don’t want to be the victim of pity. Richard breaks my gaze and looks over at a soldier.

“Let her in. She needs to be washed before her court hearing tomorrow. And for Lord’s sake, Grey, disarm her before she comes in.” With that final command, Richard steps off the balcony, back into the solitude of his private chambers.

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