I had agreed to marry the wrong man.
It’s not something that I really ever enjoy discussing. I would much rather avoid that particular subject altogether, since it has the annoying tendency to open back up the wounds and deepen them. But since you’ve succeeded in ripping off that particular scab for me, the least I can do is to continue. I realized my mistake almost as soon as I had done it. Had I done it the way that it should have been, I would not be the person I am now, and still others might still be alive. If I had but waited a few days longer, it would all have been different.
When I saw him again, – a few months after I was betrothed, I felt as if I had been stabbed through the heart with my own blade. I could not take my eyes off of him, and yet here I was as good as the ‘wife’ of another. Let it be said that the one that he, the one that I should have been beside, was not just any other. I had been in truth betrothed to the very man who had once been his near-brother, but now was his worst enemy. In that garden, in that moment, I felt so very exposed. Would I be the one to tell him? Or would he find out through the courtly gossip that always swirled about the salons and ballrooms throughout the country?
I waited, I prayed that somehow he and I would have one moment before the others got to us or worse, between us. I had been told that he, once widowed, would never take another to wife. Or that if he were to ever do so again, it had already been tentatively decided who was the most likely prospect of being such. I was fed all manner of tales from many sectors. Each of them ranged either on the side of the believable to some that could only be described as the patently absurd. Other than our friendship, which was more enjoyable than most, he had never given me the slightest inkling that his feelings for me could have gone any deeper than what he held for comrades and fellow members of the nobility. Why was I being informed of these other things? What possible end could any of these confidences be to me? I, who was not French, but merely a visiting dignitary, what difference could it possibly make? Could it be that there were those who were able to see what I myself could not?
At last, we achieved our moment, oddly enough, tucked away from prying eyes in a library. It seemed that we always found ourselves in rooms lined with books. I shivered as his fingertips and then his lips touched my hand.
Sebastien saw me shiver, then looked down at my hand, allowing me privacy. ” I know well that you were friend to the musketeer. How close a friend, of course, I did not know. I only learned of my one-time brother’s intention to marry you, ” he said. “But I will forgive you if promise to you forgive me, Lady. ”
I could only stare at him, the confusion undoubtedly written on my face. Noting it, he continued.
“Because when the time comes, and you do take in marriage my most bitter rival, I must confess that I will still covet my brother’s wife.”
The truth is, I did forgive him. How could I not? But in those moments, in the heat of that moment, I let spill forth my confession to him that I had already committed adultery with him in my heart. What was more I was completely unrepentant of that sin. The truth was I wanted him to covet his brother’s wife. My heart, I knew, depended upon it. I had realized that I wanted nothing more than to be free of the betrothal, even though doing so would have exacted an even higher price to be paid.
Sebastien only laughed softy, “And did not our very first conversation have us also talking of forgiveness Faelyn?” he asked, ” We have come full circle I think. Only now, instead of asking God, we are asking each other for it,” he still offered a slight smile. ” How strange life is. But I am not the one to ask forgiveness for such things, as I have committed the same sin as you. ”
“You were always so very stoic and unapproachable,” I said softy, ” I was convinced that you were completely unmoved and unimpressed by me, your Grace. ”
“Unmoved? Hardly. Unimpressed? Not likely. Not when I had a beautiful, intelligent and courageous woman come accost me directly about how much of a bastard I am. Most ladies shy away from my actions, or my face,” he said placing a finger beneath my chin and raising my gaze to his. “You did neither. In all truth, I was impressed, not the opposite.”
Had any one at that time heard us, either of us, there would have been a great deal of scandal. How could I express to him that his entry into my life was nothing short of pivotal? Yes, I knew that he was not a good man, that he was dark and that he did not follow social norms or rules. I do not think that it ever dissuaded me.
In spite of all that, never have I known such tenderness as I have known with him. And never have I known how close to danger I was willing to go. In the end he and I won out, but it was all at a very great cost.
Muse:Fanny Fae / Faelyn
Fandom: Original Character / Folklore / Mythology / Fandom
Word Count: 934
A special thank you to all_forme for his part of the dialogue with Fanny. 🙂