Arabella rose silently and nodded in acceptance of her husband's command. Taking several steps backward she came to a stop and spoke softly, but clearly and able to be heard. "The child is not a royal bastard. She was never pregnant. She's not that good. And your son. He loves the harlot too much to do that to her."
The wife, thoroughly humbled dropped to a deep and respectful curtsy. "Your Majesty." She spoke the words and back out of the room, her hand deftly reaching behind her to the handle to open it and stepping through, closing the doors behind her silently. The Queen looked down in disappointment, her face only for a moment showing how displeased she had been. She could never do anything right by that man. She followed the rules, he was unhappy. She rebelled, he was unhappy. Perhaps it would have been easier to simply summon the executioner and rest her head on the block.
By the time Graves had arrived at her side, Arabella had already composed herself, no signs of distress at all. "I think I shall play cards with my ladies tonight." Graves nodded his head, after all this time he had served her, even he a mere Guard was able to tell when something was wrong, but he said nothing and simply followed behind the Queen as he made her way to the parlor where her ladies were gathered.
"He doesn't believe you're pregnant my darling." Arthur reminded his wife quietly. Something that Arthur could hardly fathom, it seemed so unreasonable that the King of all people didn't know what a genuine pregnancy looked like. "When you actually produce a child, I am not even sure what will happen. He might shatter beyond all repair." Well, Arthur knew his father was already beyond repair, but this might be a whole other kind of unhinged.
"But you are right, you must consent to their wishes and birth at Windsor. I'll have as many of my men on the grounds as I can to make sure we have the ability to walk back out, child in hand." It was painful to think he might not be able to protect her there. That would be the worst fate of all, and he deeply suspected that his father or Arabella would be willing to sacrifice the child, or even Alex, or both to achieve their means.
It wouldn't be long before they had arrived home.
"I am beginning to agree Thomas." Alice detested the thought of leaving the Princess. But was this world truly safe for her and her husband? It didn't seem likely. "Arabella used to hint that war was coming..." Alice spoke softly but with grave concern. "I am inclined to believe she is correct. There is no peaceable outcome, not without much bloodshed." If it did come to that, Alice would feel truly awful, the worst of her kind in considering leaving her best friend behind, the woman she owed everything to.
"But first we must marry... And before that, I need a hot bath and a warm bed. Damn what everyone says." Alice was determined in her voice, and started to more personally understand how Alex felt most of the time. Arabella's games were wicked, the King's were worse.