Another Love

In 17th Century France the royal family is faring better than they have done before, some may even say thriving. They are well respected, loved and admired by their subjects. Not to mention the sounds of wedding bells are ringing as the youngest Princess is marrying into English nobility. Negotiations of marriage are well underway for the King’s oldest son as well; the Dauphin is expected to marry the Swedish Princess by fall. But underneath all the public success there is something hidden, a secret that could ruin the family, for good.


6. Chapter Five - The letter

My Darling Francis,

Most noble Sir, how I have missed you so. It has been over three years since I have seen your gentle face, each day not waking up in the room adjoining to yours. Not waking you up with breakfast on your special tray. Not lying beside you and looking into your darling blue eyes has been a day wasted, a day where I felt oh so alone.

Rattling around in my prison cell I had time to think, I was kept in isolation because every day I feared for my life. My most honourable Master, I was a taken man. The other gentlemen I was captured with, well, I could hardly call them gentlemen. They were more like savages, most uncivilised men, more like beasts. Locked up for the most heinous crimes, murderous thieving crooks surrounded me. It is a wonder I do not cease to live.

I was afraid they would kill me, but somehow I am alive. I have served my time, I am a free man and I pray we may meet once again. That is, if you would like to see me. I have been gone years, and even one year in your hectic life must be a very long time. Things must have changed, my Lord, rumour of your marriage reached my ear. I was upset, but I do not hold a grudge, you are the Dauphin, it was expected that you marry eventually.

My only regret is that I was not there, as your best man. That I was not right by your side supporting you as a servant should.

Whilst I know you were forced into this marriage you must feel some love for the Princess of Sweden, I have seen her on previous occasions; she is a most beautiful Lady. I hope you are both very happy together. You deserve a thousand noble women like Catherine and yet all you had was me. And all I had was you, but you are no longer mine. I was angry at first, but now I am content. 

Whilst I was a caged man it was the thought of you, and only you, that kept me strong. I will still love you until the day I leave this earth. When I was arrested the only thing that crossed my mind was your own safety. I feared you were in danger, that the Cardinal’s men would drag you from your throne and have you imprisoned like common scum. But I have since been informed that you are safe and well and I am thrilled to know that you are in good health. Though I cannot be sure, my mind will not be at ease until I see you again with my own two eyes. Only then can I truly leave Paris knowing that all is well.  And I will have to leave Paris, I cannot stay in. I am in disgrace. No one will speak to me; not even my own sister will look me in my eye. My own Mother and Father have cast their backs on me. I am an outcast, a disgrace to them.  I am a homosexual; my scandalous choice in life has left me trapped. A life trapped away from my family, my friends, but most of all a life away from you.

I will leave Paris; I have a friend, the only one who has not pushed me away. Together we are travelling to England, he has a house in Winchester, he has promised me work and a new life, a wife and a family to distract me from my old life.

Do not think of my fleeing as anything other than cowardly, I am fleeing for safety not to forget the life I once had. I have loved serving you. You have been more than a Master to me; you have been a friend, but much more than that also. You have been my lover, the keeper of my darkest secret. You hold the key to my heart but also to my livelihood. You may keep it, I will not ask for it back. I cannot imagine giving what I have given to you to anyone else. 

If you should choose to meet with me, I shall be waiting for you at 16 hundred hours in our place. I understand if you do not want to meet with me, I do not mean to drag up the past. It must be difficult for you to hear from me after these years. I tried to write to you, but I do not expect any of my letters reached your hands. I assume the Cardinal would have seen to it that all of my letters were burnt.

I do have one favour to ask of you. Long before I was arrested, I left some of my most treasured possessions in your care. Just in case something like this happened, the portrait of my family, the locket from my sister, my Grandfather’s watch, and my money. I would like these items to be burnt along with the rest of my belongings. I cannot leave anything behind when I leave for England, I will take nothing with me. I am in need of a fresh start, a new beginning. 

I will wait for you by the fountain where we first met; I will wait for you all day and night if I have to. But I cannot wait for ever, however much I would love to. I must go. I will stay there for four hours. Should you choose to not come I shall leave you and Paris the following day. I will not be offended of take it personally if you choose not to come.

I have ensured that, as a final favour, this letter will make it into your fair hands. What you then choose to do with the letter is your own business, your Highness.  I will be fine with whatever you choose to do.

Your most humble servant


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