Title: LA ROSE NOIRE: Book One of the Black Rose Chronicles

About: LRN is the first of a vampire drama (with other elements) told from the point of view of josephine. The second will be tentatively titled - Darkness Eternal: Clan of the Dangerous Angels.

Feedback: Greatly appreciated.

Main Characters for book one:

Josephine de Leon

Lucien D'Lamaire

Gabriel

Supporting & Minor Characters:

Marquis d'Freniere

Marquise Elizabet d'Freniere

Viscomte Mestaurier

King Louis XIII

Queen Anne of Austria

Seraphin

Bibienne

Gerard

Sebastien

Aurelie

Bera

Elsa

Annette

Therese

(and more.)

(This is the first chapter of a long fiction.)

LA ROSE NOIRE (the black rose)

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

~PROLOGUE~

Castle of Saint-Germain-en-Laye

Village west of Paris

September 5th, 1638

The laboring woman had a moment of respite now, as the baby slid from her body at last. All night of laboring was worth it, because she was delivered of a healthy boy that the chief midwife held in a small blanket.

The king was ill, but had refused to stay in bed. The anticipation of the coming of his heir had made him feel better, as he had a more pink tint to his face, instead of the pale man that he was normally these days.

Two midwives were in the room, the young halfway pretty Babette who was still learning her trade, and the chief midwife Maime who was a matron long past her youth.

"It's a boy." Maime said, as she held the young dauphin in her arms. At hearing this, the king's face lost the frown he had worn and the queen sighed a soft sigh, laying back against her pillows as Babette tended to her.

The king walked over to the midwife holding the baby, to see for himself that he had a son and that all was well. "So I do. A beautiful boy he is." The king said as he looked at his son. "Yes, a fine baby he is, your majesty. And very healthy too. Any father would be proud." Maime said.

The king looked to the queen. "See Ann, your worry was for naught. Your dream was just a dream and nothing more. There is no girl. Only a fine male heir. I knew it was only foolishness. That vagabond gypsy and her band of miscreants were doing nothing more than causing worry. If I knew where they were, I'd have them executed for their foolish talk and---"

The king stopped what he was saying when he saw the queen grimace. Maime put the dauphin down and rushed to the queen's side. After a quick inspection, the older midwife frowned. "What is it?" both the king and queen asked in that same moment.

"Another child, your majesties. You are having another child." Maime replied.

"What? Twins? That can not be." The king said.

"Bear down your majesty, for we will have the child here quickly." Maime said to the queen as she assisted her. The baby did not come as easily as the first, but in a matter of a few moments, a slightly smaller baby was delivered. Maime looked in surprise a moment as the baby lay there on the bed. The baby had a veil of darkness covering its face. That was a very ill omen, but she did not have to see its face to know that the child was a girl. And in this case an even worse sign. Maime picked up the baby and the king quickly came over as she held the child in her arms. The king looked shocked as he saw that the baby had the veil covering it's face.

"A child of mine, deformed. What an atrocity. This can not be." the king sputtered in indignant outrage.

"No, your majesty. The child is fine. The veil is but a piece of skin covering the face that can be easily lifted." Maime said as she did just that. "I never seen such a thing before. But my grandmother before me, who taught me all I know of widwifery saw this occurrence once when she was very young." Maime finished, and the veil was off of the baby's face. "Another beautiful child you have, your majesty. Almost identical to the first, except---"

The king, the queen and Babette all looked at the midwife, waiting for her to go on. "Except that this child is a girl." Maime finished.

Everyone in the room gasped and the king looked at the baby in disbelief. He pulled back the cloth to see for himself and then all the color fled from his face. Everyone knew the prophecy had been true.

A gypsy known as the Queen of the gypsies and her troupe of companions mysteriously appeared one night amid a feast and they entertained the people of the court, but she also told fortunes. The pregnant queen had had a dream that had plagued her thoughts and worried her two months before the gypsies showed up. She dreamed that she was going to have a daughter and that in her dream the child was already grown. She had wings of white and was in the sky, but the dream changed to one of horror when the girl's wings were cut and she fell to the earth and lay there as if dead as a rain of blood poured down on her and when she opened her eyes, her eyes had a strange light to them and this was where the dream ended. This was an ill omen and the queen and only a select few knew of her dream, so as not to cause fright among the entire court and the people. However, the queen had had a few other dreams before akin to premonitions like that one and they had come true.

When the gypsy came to the queen to tell her fortune, she told the queen that the child she carried was female and that the child was doomed to a destiny of darkness. The queen was in disbelief. And the gypsy queen told her that there was nothing that she or anyone else could do, the child was predestined to dwell among the fallen. The troupe of gypsies, by morning, had disappeared as quickly and as quietly as they had come.

Everyone present were thinking of these things. And the king turned to the queen and said, "How dare you give me a girl! And one destined for evil." The queen flinched and grimacing she closed her eyes.

"Richelieu will know what to do. He, a man of God will know a way out of this for all of us." The king muttered and then turned to Babette. "Go fetch the cardinal. And tell no one of this!" Babette quickly went to do as she was told and before she left, the king set wearily down on a chair. The illness along with this shock had taken a toll on him."

When Babette returned with the Cardinal, the king was pacing slowly back and forth.

The cardinal strode to where the girl child lay by herself and both he and the king looked down at the child. Babette stood back to one side and Maime tended to the baby dauphin.

The cardinal was the chief advisor and confidant to the king and he knew of the gypsy's prophecy and the queen's dream. The king quickly filled in the cardinal on the fact that the child had been born with the veil of darkness.

The cardinal crossed himself and turned to Maime and bade her fetch a bottle of holy water from the priest of the castle.

While Maime did this, the cardinal and the king talked. "Twins are not a good sign in itself. But all of it combined... the dream, the veil, the prophecy.. it all adds up to nothing but evil. We can bathe the child in the lord's water, perhaps that will make a difference. But I fear that she will bring us nothing but ill, your majesty. that is if she were to stay."

"Are you saying, if she were to be gone, then all would be well?" The king quickly asked. Wanting a quick solution from the troubles.

"I believe so, your majesty." Cardinal Richelieu said.

"I cannot have the child killed. The child is, afterall my child, and royal blood runs strongly through her veins." The king said.

"Oh no, your majesty. I would not suggest such a thing." The cardinal said with a sideways glance to the child again. "What a shame, your majesty, for she looks like a cherub, an angel of God- not of the devil." "No matter," the cardinal said as he turned to Maime as she came back in, holding a large vial of holy water. He took the container from Maime and continued, "I advise against her staying here. Perhaps she could be fostered in homes of your friends. Never staying overly long in one place, but fostered in a number of different homes so in the event that her existence does leak out somehow, her whereabouts will not be known. " The cardinal opened the vial and poured the holy water on the baby's face. The baby grinned happily and flailed her little arms.

The king looked down at his daughter and said, "She can grow up enjoying all the comforts of an easy life, as long as she lives. But she is not to return anywhere close to the court and is not to ever claim her place amongst it. No one else is to know that she is the daughter of the queen and I. I shall tell my people that she fosters with, that she is my illegitimate child and that she is being sent away because her mother has died in childbed and for the benefit of the queen's sensibilities, the child is not to grow up among the court."

The queen listened to all this, but she was only half paying attention. "What say you, my queen?" The king asked. "But beware, I have already made my decision and you can not change it."

"And it is a good decision, my lord. She will not be harmed, she will not know poverty, and we shall be safe from her presence and whatever ungodly destiny she is to come into. I will not complain, my lord." The queen finished.

The king patted the queen's hand and said, "It is for the best. Besides we have a beautiful son, Ann, which can comfort you if you have any lingering sorrows about this." The king and queen looked down at the boy child who rested against the queen's breast. " France will have another King Louis after me. His name will be Louis the XIVth." The king proclaimed.

"Louis le Dieudonne. Louis, the gift of God." The queen murmured. "His birth will be the cause of great joy for our people."

The king nodded. "Yes, and we must announce it to them in the morning. But first, I must dictate a letter to my friend, the Earl. The cardinal left the room to make secret preparations for a carriage to be made ready to send the female baby along with a wet nurse and Babette to the Earl.

In the mean time, the king dictated a letter to his friend the Earl and signed his name at the bottom and sealed the letter with the royal seal.

Maime laid the girl beside the boy baby for but a moment to compare the faces of the babies. "Almost identical. Except one is male and the other, female " Maime murmured. As soon as the babies were placed next to one another, their flailing arms caught hold of each other's hand and they turned their head to one another and both grinned. Babette was surprised at this. But the moment didn't last long, because the king was commanding that the carriage was ready.

Maime picked up the girl baby, this seperated both babies fingers from one another and the baby was handed to Babette, just as the king handed the letter to her. "She is never to know who she is." The king commanded. "Now go."

Everything had happened fairly quickly and in less than two hours of the queen giving birth, the baby was ready to be cast out of her rightful place. Babette held the baby within her cape, and lifted the hood of her cape over her head and hurried out of the room and out of the castle. As the carriage left the castle and proceeded out of the village, twilight was upon them.