I was not even sure that I wanted to.
“Oh Father, must you really leave?” I stare down uneasily at my young, intelligent daughter, the deep look of sadness on her pale face almost breaking my already slowly breaking heart.
“Yes, I must Elizabeth.” I force the words out, a huge part of me wishing that it wasn`t true. It had been so long since I had last seen her, and the chances were it would be an incredibly long time until I was able to visit again.
“Well why can I not go back with you?” the dark haired child questions, her eyes narrowing with confusion as she tries to understand. “I want to go with you Father.” She says in a small, quiet voice, so unlike usual self. It pained me to leave her again, but there was just so much sickness in the main towns and cities, I had to protect Elizabeth from that and the only way to do that was by keeping her in the country.
“I will see you sometime soon Elizabeth, but I am afraid I cannot take you with me. Please, please do not mistake this for me not loving you.” I plead with her, brown eyes wide and honest. I loved this little girl with all of my heart.
Sighing Elizabeth nods her head. “May I at least know why you must leave?”
I nod and reluctantly tell the young girl. “Well I have some very important news for you.” Her eyes widen with excitement. “I am getting married.”
“Oh, really Father!?” she screams happily, skipping over to me from her seat across the grandly furnished room. “To Gerard? Oh that it brilliant news!”
She stops in front of me, her face falling when she sees my shocked expression. I shake my head and her eyes dull.
“No not to Gerard.” my stomach flips oddly as I imagine justly what it would be like to be married to the raven haired man, magical I expected. Not to mention wrong, so very, very wrong.
“Oh.” She frowns, speaking in a dull, expressionless voice. “Who to then?”
I take another deep breath, regretting the words that came out of my mouth, wishing that there was some way I could take them back. “To Catherine Parr.”
“Oh.” Elizabeth mumbles disappointedly, before walking slowly out of the room, without uttering so much as a goodbye.
I groan completely frustrated and confused and collapse down onto a chair, resting my spinning head in my hands. I didn`t love Catherine, I didn`t really even like the young woman very much, so I had no desire at all to marry her. I had no other choice though; I could not risk anyone ever finding out my dark, terrible secret. No one must ever know my love for the raven haired angel Gerard. So if I had to live a lie and be unhappy until my dying days to keep my disgusting immoral love a secret, then so be it.
My face falls when I hear the news, my bright smiling eyes dulled with sorrow and jealously when Frank uttered the damning words. He was getting married.
“That is fantastic news sir.” I lie through my teeth, plastering on a fake smile.
I half expect Frank to say something about me calling him sir instead of by his name as he used to when we first met, but he stays silent.
“We leave first thing tomorrow Gerard. Make sure you are ready.” I nod, feeling nothing but numbness as I turn to walk away, unable to look at the beautiful man on front of me, who very clearly did not love me.
I knew he never had, and that it was stupid to have ever tried to pretend but I was unable to help it. Frank was just so…Frank. He was so good and kind, he understood me and it did not hurt that he was the most stunningly attractive person I had ever met. I know that it was wrong, disgusting to have this feelings for him, but I could not force my heart to stop loving him. I was not even sure that I wanted to.