No doubt I have already talked about this on a number of occasions. I have considered the love of my life to be my husband, Sebastien. That is no secret. I of course, did not come to him a virgin, but as far as he was concerned, such a thing was not of major import anyway. To be fair, I am not by any means the only woman that he has ever had, nor am I his first wife . He is French after all.
I was a mere 17 years old when I went to the Beltane Rites and gave up my Maidenhood. I never knew who he was, after that night I never saw him again. This unknown man was the father of my first daughter, Maeve, whom I had to give up a mere four days after her birth. I have never seen her again either, though I know that she still resides with King Nuada, He of the Silver Hand. But that is another long story for another time. Being a Priestess has its disadvantages – or maybe they are advantages – in that being a Sovereign of a Nation that allows its rulers to marry but once, it tends to make you just a little more selective about whom you allow to share your bed, or perhaps it was how I am anyway. I have not stopped to consider it.
The next and only lover for a very long time was Hsu Danmei, my best friend, my Anam Cara. We met in England and we became those ‘friends with benefits’ as they describe it today. We had such an ease between us, that I believe it even astonished the both of us. Hsu and I understood each other from the beginning, and we were companions of the first order. But neither one of us were the kind to be weighted down by the bonds matrimony. For him, marriage was always a matter of political alliance. As a sovereign, I understand this, but perhaps for me as a woman, I was determined to hold out for something a little more emotional. So Hsu and I never really discussed that realm of possibility until much, much later.
Then came France. Ah, France! It is a Land where her sons are so incredibly charming and for whom love and gallantry are forms of art that no life should ever be devoid of. I fell in love with two men there, each had been as a brother to the other one. But by the time we met, they and turned into bitter enemies. Athos was charming and devoted to his duty. I admired him. I cannot deny that. But then came the Comte de Rochefort – Sebastien. We did not immediately like each other. In fact, he and I tended to argue endlessly over politics, religion and just about every other subject you could name. But then came the night when he invited me to play a game of chess against him in the royal apartments where many other Court favourites had gathered for the evening. That particular game, I remember, lasted well into the wee hours of the morning. In those times women were sorely uneducated, and less than half of the women in France could even sign their own name. What was worse is that very few if any men there truly appreciated a woman who could read and discuss any matters of any real import with him. This was because at that time, women were not even truly considered to be people. This attitude was pervasive throughout most of Europe, not just in France.
“What good is it to educate them?” one courter asked over a dinner that I was in attendance of. The Comte de Rochefort was seated immediately to my right that evening, and I knew that he could feel me bristle at the barb that was being hurled in my direction. He laid a slight touch against my arm. It was a small gesture, and everyone else at the table missed it. Because of that I merely appeared interested in the current course we were being served. Even in those times when the fairer sex were instructed that they should know a great deal about small and unimportant things and never bother with those things which were considered important at all, it was clear that he did not feel the same way that the majority of gentlemen at Court did. Sebastien was one of the few men there who did not mind that when a woman could not only read and write, but was appreciative of the rare woman who was aware of what was going on in the world around her. Where most women of the Court would have been relegated to embroidery and lace tatting or tending to their families or providing an heir, Sebastien and I went riding, hunting or hawking and would discuss all manner of things. It made our conversations much more dimensional, and certainly far more interesting than the vapid prattle that could be heard around us from most of the other members of the Court.
In spite of this I made a mistake and chose the wrong man to be affianced to. In an incident that was shrouded in scandal and mystery, he was killed. I was in mourning for two and a half year, and Sebastien patiently waited. When it was again the proper time, Sebastien asked me to become his wife. I agreed without a thought. He was that one spouse that I would choose. We lived happily for a number of years. Nothing in the world could possibly have threatened that happiness. We had very busy and full lives in my Homeland and his.
Then came the day when Sebstien was killed; slain by the man whom we all believed was already dead. Athos himself was also Immortal, though none of us had guessed. Destiny is sometimes a very cruel and exacting Mistress. For myself, I can only say that a major part of my heart died with Sebastien on that day. Even as I buried him, I swore that if it took me a thousand lifetimes, I would find a way to retrieve him from the Realm of the Dead. Hundreds of years came and went. I endured countless failures of searching, trying, searching again, only to fail once more. I would not, could not give up. Oh, yes, I had my share of lovers during that time. What woman, human or Fae, can go through her life aching for the touch of another and only clinging to the memory of a husband long since departed? I have met few if any.
There were the young men, the Mortal and Immortal, an Admiral whose decency and underlying goodness few men could ever match. There was of course the Daemon who is a kinsman but whom I dare not fully trust. There was also a scientist for whom I had a deep abiding affection and a beautiful Vampyr boy-man, and of course, there was always my Anam Cara who did not always understand what I was doing or why, but always accepted me and my eccentricities. But for all of my undeniable affection for each and every one of them, they still were not my husband whom I loved most of all. That is why I never gave up even after trying for hundreds of years. When I finally succeeded, I knew it had all been worth it.
Did I have just one true love? Sebastien was most assuredly that for me. Were there others whom I also loved as much as I could while our lives were entwined? Yes, of course there were. I am a woman after all and not a stone. Four hundred years is too long for anyone to go without love and affection – and so I did not. Would I have traded the experience had I a choice in the matter?
Muse: Fanny Fae / Faelyn
Fandom: Original Character / Folklore / Mythology
Word Count: 1331