The night was cool as the wind blew across the cool blue water, forming ripples. "These documents must reach teh king safetly," a quiet voice said as they sailed across the Thames river.
"It will be done," another voice replied. "The king shall know the truth before the puta usurps everyone further."
"Princess Mary and Jane are truly victorious," the first voice said. "Hail the true queen!"
Henry awoke early the next day because Crammer had some news for him. He was shown documents, and many papers for evidence. He dropped his quill. "It cannot be!" he said, horsely. He grabs his travelling cloak and leaves. Ignoring all protests.
Quickly he rode into the town of London, past the bridge, to a small peasant village, ignoring the stench. All the bickering peasants move out of his way. He reaches a stone mill and dismounts. Charles behind him. He enteres the stone edifice without hesitation.
He sees a fair headed man, who looks like a younger, red headed Arthur, on a bed with black boils on his neck, coughing, and raging fevor. The physician quickly lends Henry his spice filled mask, that Henry declines. "Brother?"-Henry asks.
"Henry?"-Edmund asks weakly. Besides him, Edmund's flaxen wife is in the next cot in a simliar fate.
"Why?"-Henry asks. "Did you never come to claim your birthright?"
"They -cough- thought -cough- me dead," Edmund replies. "It's not important, except Edward." He points to a strawberry blond hair boy of twenty & three. He was of medium height and lean built. He had delicate features, entrancing hazel-green eyes, and a sweet demeanor. The boy was in the corner of the house, looking at his parents in concern, sadness, and fear for their lives.
"Take him away from here and make sure he is fine," Henry ordered to Charles who lead the protesting boy out.
"No! Mother! Father" the boy cries as Charles drags him out. Edmund's face becomes sad and Jane weeps. Then agony overtakes them both.
"You must listen to me," Edmund replies. "Arthur...and Catherine...Mary is theirs," Edmund manages to say.
A few minutes later Henry arrives looking solemn. Edward knows what happens and silently cries. Henry pulls the boy into a hug, and they make their way to the palace.
Henry, Charles, and Edward return to the palace around noon. Edward is sent to Ludow Castle as the Prince of Wales, until Anne gives him one if it is possible. Physicians are sent to make sure his health is okay after being among his parents who were with the plague. Henry is glad to have a heir so quickly but he is grieved at the loss of his brother, sister-in-law, and the boy's loss. Henry has decided to become the orphaned boy's surrogate father.
But he has other business to attend to as he leaves the poor boy to grieve alone. He is going to Kimbleton to visit his ex-wife. The Dowager princess. But he picks up his 28 year old daughter(or niece). Anne is completely ignored, and told to remember her place when she demands to know what is going on with Henry visiting Katherine.
Without much explaination to Mary they reach Kimbleton. Henry orders Mary to stay in the outerchambers with Chapauys after Mary greets her mother. Then Katherine and Henry go to the inner chambers to talk alone.
"Tell me the truth," Henry tells Katherine. "Did you or did you not consumate your marriage with Arthur?"-Henry asks.
"I do believe I told you everything," Katherine replied.
"Did you?"-Henry asked. "Because there is evidence that Mary is Arthur's daughter."
"Dios mio!"-Katherine exclaimed. "What?!"
"So tell me everything that happened with your wedding to my brother," Henry said, voice dangerously calm.
"Well I had been very homesick when I arrived to marry your brother," Katherine said. "We were both shy, but we talked frequently in Latin. However on our wedding night we I contracted the sweating sickness... But poor Arthur had the bubonic plague..."
Katherine and Arthur had a grand, magnificent wedding. Catalina felt very nevous. That grandmother, Lady Beaufort, made her very nervous. Katherine dropped uncermounously to her knees as she reached the alter. She felt everyone's eyes on her but Arthur winked at her. After Katherine said her vows too quickly, and Arthur smiled her, with twinkling eyes; she was pronounced married. After a brief pep talk from the priest that she zoned out through, she went to the festivities. Arthur was smiling, or smirking, playfully at her as they went to the dancefloor. She felt excited but nervous dancing with him. He was so great to be around but she still felt nervous around him. He was sweet, cute, and handsome like no other. No one would ever compare to him in her life. They talked a lot in latin before , but she never felt like she could get close enough to him. Until they started dancing. He said he was bad, but he had more graceful steps. She felt happier than ever, dancing with him, and felt like she finally could call England her home.
The celebrations ended and they were alone in Ludow Castle. The priest blessed the bed, and Catalina was in her chemise(her hair brushed). She perched on the edge of the bed while Arthur strolled in casually. "Why is it so quiet?" he asked, perching on the other side of the bed. "Conversation always flowed so easily during this time for brides and grooms who just met," he joked. Catalina giggled, then blushed as Arthur winked at her.
"No atmosphere too stiff exists for the one who can at breaking the silence," Catalina replied.
Arthur chuckled. "You give me too much credit, madam. Is an atmosphere ever stiff around you?"
He leaned over, and leaned into Catalina. She felt some passion within her. Then it became dark. The next thing Catalina knew she felt a thousand fires burning inside her. Arthur was coughing ill, next to her. Her chemise was rumpled but that wasn't any concern. Arthur and her were sick. Catalina had the sweating sickness but poor Arthur had the Bubonic plague. By the time she was healed, Arthur was gone from the world for a week. It hit her so hard, she didn't mind her brief poverty under the miser HenryVII. Nor did she register being checked for a child when Margaret Beauford asked, even though she barely recovered, and was depressed. It turns out those oversights led everyone to overlook she had Arthur's child. She married HenryVIII barely 3 months after, and conceived right away.
"So you both became ill on your wedding night?"-Henry asked. "Figures that would happen to Arthur," he muttered. "Then Mary has been my niece and our marriage was never valid under Gods' eyes."
By then Mary and Chapauys have entered, and heard enough. "Is this true?"-Mary asked, standing next to her mother, who hugged her.
"You are in fact my niece, my late brother's child," Henry told her. "But Katherine is a former Princess of Wales widower, and you are still a princess being my neice. However the title prince of Whales goes to my nephew, Edward, at the moment," Henry replied. Mary gasped, and Chapuays was shocked.
"What is going on?!"-Anne exclaimed in her chambers with her family. Norfolk had called a family meeting, the King had arrived back with not just Mary but Katherine a few minutes ago. "Katherine had been given good apartments next to a fair haired boy who received lodgings at Ludow Castle," Norfolk announced.
"Did Henry have a son with Katherine he just found?"-Anne demanded, her sanity going out of her own hands.
"The boy doesn't look Spanish and it would be absurd if the boy was missing for so long," Thomas Boleyn replied.
"I have been informed," George said, entering, "that the boy is Henry's late brother Edmund's son. He was staying at the mill since he was found buried alive as an infant. It was recently discovered he was his Majesty's brother. But he died of the sickness yesterday, along with his wife, Jane Seymour." Anne recollected that name as her lady-in-waiting, and competition. However none of that pettiness between woman(over men who were the problem) mattered as she felt pity for the woman, her sister-in-law.
"Correct. Their son, the King's nephew, was healthy and quickly taken by the king to here. He is the King's heir," Norfolk finished, nodding at George. Anne felt slightly unease.
"That's good news," Mary told her. "You will not be pressured to give the king a heir."
"But the Seymours will have more power than us until you give the king a male heir," Thomas growled.
"That is not all," George said, almost out of breath. "The Lady Mary is a princess. Her father is discovered to be his Majesty's elder brother, the late Prince Arthur. Princess Katherine and the late Prince Arthur had been delerious of sickness on their wedding night, and she had no real knowledge of what happened."
"So there are already heirs before my children even if they are not direct threats to me anymore," Anne muttered.
Norfolk nodded. "However both are Henry's brothers' children. There is no guarantee they will be before your children. It is very important you give him a male heir."
o 0 o 0 o 0 o 0 o
Life settled into a fresh routine. There were less pressures even though there were a slight difference between Anne and her newphew & neice. Anne felt they were in the way of her children. They felt Anne was trying to take their rights. Just because their fatheres were gone and she was married to their uncle, who was suppose to go to the Church to begin with.
However both got alone with Elizabeth, and all three loved each other like siblings. And enjoyed it more when Jane Grey, their Aunt Mary and Charles Brandon's 2nd daugther after Frances. With that they enjoyed life, and everything was fine until one day.
It was the day of the joust. Henry was jousting with Anne' favor, and Katherine tied a favor on Eustice Chapauys, her long time friend. Henry was up first and got hit by a lance, but not seriously. Except Anne got worried anyways. As he writhed on the floor, he was taken to his quarters by Charles and a few men. Anne, his kid, his neices, and nephew anxiously followed. He was fine after resting. Just a splinter. But Anne barely rested despite being pregnant. Elizabeth, Mary, Edward, and Jane Grey made visited him often, too. But then they believed he got an infection so he rested more. Then Dr Linclair saw something that made his blood run cold. There were dark boils on Henry's neck. "The bubonic plague," he muttered to himself.
The news was kept inside for as long as they could. No one was allowed to visit Henry, especially Edward and Anne. However the news couldn't be kept secret forever. Anne fainted when she found out, and was set to be examined herself. Edward, Mary, Elizabeth, and Jane were locked in their apartments. Court was empty for a few days. Finally after a week Henry had departed from the world, with only a letter for his family.
My dearest daughter, wife, unborn child, nephew, neices(esp the neice I raised as a daughter), and dearest sister-in-law,
I am not to remain on this earth much longer. But I have much to say. I want you to remember me by the good times and forgive me by the wrongs I have done to you. Mary, my neice, whom I believed to be my first child, raised as my first child, and are my first child in my heart. I am forever saddened for how I treated you and you, Katherine in all the confusion. While my union with Katherine was unlawful in God's eyes, I have treated you, my late brother's family/legacy in such a shameful manner. I hope you can forgive me, and always remember me as the family you could fall back on in place of my brother. I have left you 20 thousand lbs. Edward my newly discovered nephew. You are an angel like that of the brother I never got to fully know. You have descended from heaven as the heir I so desperately seek while my heirs are still in the womb. Anne my beloved wife I will miss you my dear Tudor rose. And do not fear your or our children's positions. My brothers' children are my children too. Treat them with kindess and get kindness in return. You have no competitoin for your position, concentrate on providing a male heir and all will fall into palce. Charles, my faithful friend. Never change, you have guided me through everything. Please continue to be that rock for my family who will need you more than ever, now.
Your beloved Soveirgn,
HenryVIII, soon to join his brothers, mother, and sister
Mary wept openly after reading the letter huddled with everyone else, except Edward, who was missing when they should be proclaiming him King. Elizabeth kept a stiff lip, and fled in remorse. Anne fainted, and was taken into the chambers by physicians.
Mary, having enough, rushed to Ludow Castle, followed by almost everyone else. To find Edward was missing and a note was left in place. I regret to abandon all of you as are all awaiting to crown me as King; however there is urgent business I had to attend to. I will be back soon.
Mary sighed in pure frustration. She turned to Eustice as England was in turmoil, waiting to crown its next soveirn. "He can be so irresponsible," she said quietly, for Edward was the King.
Elizabeth didn't know what to do. Who would be king next while Edward was gallovanting off somewhere odd. Her mother was in a terrible condition.
Her grandfather wasn't helping by gleefully proclaiming Edward was gone so her child may be proclaimed King if it was a male. Elizabeth had half the mind to tell her grandfather to leave.
What happened next, plunged England into further turmoil. The death bells rang for HenryVIII but paused as there was no new king. There was no monarch, England was almost rioting.
“As if there were no lack of pretenders for the crown,” a peasant in London told another.
“Aye,” another replied. “we will see civil war or anarchy.” Then Anne screamed, and blood trickled down between her legs. Physicians ran in, forcing all her family members to leave. The screaming continued, and Anne was placed on bed rest for the safety of her disturbed child.
At the same time, Edward arrived with his new wife. A pagent, very beautiful, dark skinned pagan girl from Hawaii. An island in the new world no one knew about. What's more, Edward denounced his religious beliefs in favor of the pagan religions. He got married however under his and the pagan religions. Mary glared at him. "Have you lost your mind?" she almost yelled. Aftering needlessly bowing to him as king, because England wouldn't recognize him as king much longer.
Elizabeth was scared, not sure what to do as Edward scoffed, demanding some respect. Mary wanted to kill Edward, her mother was in bedrest because her unborn sibling's life was hanging on a thread, and Edward was making himself unpopular before he was even crowned.
"Edward," Ciyira asks in their apartment in Ludow. "Is it wise for me to have not converted to Christianity?"
"It wouldn't matter," Edward replies, delicately. "To them, they will only see your skin color even though you're so beautiful." He strokes her cheeck with the back of his palm.
"But this is a problem for your crowning," Ciyira replied.
"I had to marry you before I became king, and the council controlled plus England plus Mary and possibly Anne had influence in my decisions."-Edward said. "England must understand, and see that if I don't forsake my love, I can never forsake England." Edward forced Ciyira's eyes to meet his eyes, and touched her curly hair.
o 0 o 0 o 0 o 0 o
Edward and Ciyira left England at night on the barge before trouble brewed up over Ciyira. After Edward tried to address England that he could never part with Ciyira because he loved her, it proved he'd never part with England; England started rioting. Threats were made against Ciyira, and Edward was cursed.
The council wasn't happy with Edward, and Mary looked ready to wrangle his neck. She was also cold to Ciyira, being a devout Catholic. However Mary truly accepted Ciyira as her sister-in-law or cousin-in-law. Hoever she was furious at them for being responsible. "You will cause a civil war or anarchy," she hissed at Edward. "Do you not think?!"
"Our cousin, Princess Mary is right," Elizabeth added. "You should've converted Ciyira than brought her here before marrying her first. Now England is in a state of turmoil. They won't accept you,you can't have a coronation yet, and my mother is struggling for my unborn sibling's life. Assuming it is even a boy."
"A foolish thing you've done, but better king will come," Thomas hissed.
"How dare you address a prince much less a king of England that way," Mary hissed.
"I don't see any," Thomas begin but Elizabeth cut him off.
"Leave right now before you utter treasonous words," Elizabeth ordered. Thomas stared at her as if to say 'you turn on a Boleyn?', but left, swiftly.
Edward stared at Boleyn, venomously, and led Mary out before everyone. He bowed, and kissed her ring. “Your majesty,” he said addressing the problem everyone was nervous about.
Others followed Edward’s lead, including Ciyira. The streets of London shouted for Mary, and she would be coronated soon.
Edward left after that with Ciyira, to figure out how to keep their position as Prince of Whales safe against the Boleyns. Plus Engladn was still hostile at Edward, even Mary couldn’t protect him or Ciyira.
"I am to blame for all of this," Ciyira spoke to Edward as they sailed across the Thames.
Edward titled her chin up to meet her eyes. "No, it was my decision. And I will set everything to right, soon." She nodded, and he smiled. Then he pulled her close to him.
Edward was gone next morning, forfeiting his right to the crown. Chaos had broken out through England. Anne was feeling a little better but still on bedrest. However lead by Thomas guards came to Mary's room, to assist her to the London Tower. She was to be arrested because Elizabeth was crowned queen.
Charles was powerless because Anne was queen at the moment. Mary was lead to the tower, and was thinking of all the people before her and her fate as she entered. Katherine was also besides her in the tower as they entered. Eustice had written to the Emperor who threatened to declare war on England if Mary and Catalina weren't released at the moment.
"We cannot hold out for long," Norfolk hissed to Thomas. "The Emperor has threatened war if they aren't released. And Spain is going to ensure Mary gets the throne. Then Edward may get the throne himself, and he won't stand Mary's imprisonment. At the most he may decide to abdicate the throne to Mary."
"Wrong," Thomas replied. "The people are ready to start war over Edward's foolish move of marrying a pagan heritic. There is no male heir except the one in Anne's belly. The English will accept it before any queen, ever since the fateful Queen Matilda. They will accept it over a queen tied to a Spaniard, a foreigner. She will definitely marry her Spanish clan. Both of them are so foolish, and then they get angry when they can't claim anything over us! And we have a young queen who's a descendent of a countryman with humble begginings they can relate to. We have rumors to spread throughout England. And prepare Elizabeth's coronation!"
"Have you heard?"-Ciyira asked, as they were on the outskirst of London, headed towards the pier. "Princess Mary's been taken to the tower! So has the Dowager princess!"
"We must return to England at once!"-Edward exclaimed.
"We can't, it's too dangerous!" Ciyira exclaimed. "They were talking of throwing you and I in the tower, and hostile at you for letting a civil war start."
Edward grabbed Ciyira's arm, to make her face him. "No one can ever harm you. And there wil be no civil war. Their king will return at the right time. Now we have to help Mary and my aunt."
Edward lead Ciyira to an old friend's house. Barnaby's house. There he was dressed as a peasant along with Ciyira.
Then they snuck to London as part of Barnaby's attendants. Barnaby sent the guards false orders that the windows had to be fitted, and left a long rope at the barred window. After everyone had gone to sleep. Edward scaled the window on the rope, easily opened the window, adn climbed in the tower room where Mary & Catalina were. "Princess Mary; come here," Edward called out, very quietly.
Mary and Catalina stirred, and lightly went over, careful not to wake any of their ladies. "Come with me," Edward said, tugging on the rope. Barnaby was at the bottom at the barge, waiting. They rattled the rope to get the two inhabitants’ attention. Mary and Catalina came quick.
They saw Edward below, and the room. The rope metal end was hot enough to twist the bars open. Catalina and Mary climbed out, and scaled the rope carefully. Mary went first, then Catalina. Edward and Barnaby were below, ready to catch them.
"My dear nephew, the king, you have come to help," Catalina asked in a whisper, cupping Edward's cheek with one hand; once both were down.
"Yes the Boleyns cannot usurp you, not while I am truly king," Edward replied in a whisper. "But quick let us hurry before anyone stirs!". Finally Edward and Barnaby tugged on the as hard and quickly as he could and it came undone. "Leave no evidence," they muttered.
A guard woke up from the clinging noise. He went outside to see four shadows darting about. “HEY!” he yelled. “WHO GOES THERE?”
The four ran, and the guards chased them. But they ducked into the woods, and the guards lost them. “Must be thieves,” the guard said as another checked the towers. There was no evidence of escape, so they didn’t check on the prisoners.
Then with Barnaby, they all came out of the woods, and dashed to the barge, once the guards left them. And sailed out the quiet water of the Thames. "I will never forget this kindess," Mary told Edward, "when I become queen next or marry a King, I will always remember your kindness, cousin. For championing my cause." Mary kissed Edward's cheek.
"And I never yours, milady, for never deserting me for my choices," Edward replied.
The boat stopped at the inn where Ciyira and Jane were at. "A true king you are for England," Catalina remarked.
Edward kissed Catalina's and Mary's hands. "May we cross paths once more, for our destination is the same," Edward said. "England."
"May we always be allies," Mary added. She and her mother hugged Edward, then Ciyira. "May you be happy, fruitful, and a great lady behind a great king to come," Mary told Ciyira.
"Ihave been blessed to have encountered from great queens born," Ciyira said as Catalina hugged her, very motherly. Edward & Ciyira headed twoards the port for the ship taking them to the west. While Catalina and Mary headed for the port taking them south-east for the ship to Spain. Barnaby and Jane would go with Ciyira and Edward.
"You are welcome to come to Spain anytime," Catalina told the four of them.
"I thank you mi lady," Edward replied, "but we will go to the new world to lay low, for even your cousin may be unhappy with us. But we can reach the Spanish colonies." Mary and Catalina nodded.
"Stay safe," Mary warned.
"We are brothers/sisters in blood but differ in heart, but blood always flows to the heart," Ciyira said reciting an old Hawaiin proverb." Then the two parties, separated for their destinations.