Authors Note: This was originally a story started by Katrina Daniella but she handed it to me after she started something new.

She was a traitor, as everyone had anticipated she would be. Everything about Morgaine suggested a life of rebellion. The way she wore her hair, untamed and adorned in an assortment of cheap jewelry. Her mysterious right ear harboring 11 fancily carved hoops. All one had to do was look at her, and realize that she was in due course for trouble. If her appearance wasn't a dead give away, her tongue was. She couldn't remember that last time a thought had crossed her mind that had not been spoken aloud. Most of her thoughts were rash and blunt, much like her personality.

As a traitor she made her way along the river Thames. The thick branches of oak trees loomed overhead, and the rivers soiled water sloshed at her feet. There was a tavern somewhere along the riverbank she was searching for. A dissolute place for thieves, murderers, and. traitors.

There was no way to make out whether or not the tavern was 10 miles or less than a mile away. Morgaine was just about to turn back and forget about the Earls desperate pleas for help, when the faint sight of orange candle light shown through the fog. "Thank the Lord!" she whispered. Although she was a little more than fashionably late, she didn't pick up her pace, but rather slowed to a slow saunter.

A wood rotted sign hung above the door, christening the tavern "Darkness Falls." The name represented the essence beautifully. She entered, squinting in the soft light. Most patrons either sat alone, or huddled in groups of twos and threes. No one spoke above a whisper.

It was easy to spot the man she was looking for, being the only one not bent over and jumpy. The Earl of Essex was just finishing a pint of ale, letting a few amber droplets runs down his unshaven chin. He let the mug fall with a clatter to the floor. The man nearest him jumped nearly out his skin, knocking his pint to the floor sending ale spilling across the floor.

"You bloody ass!" Red faced, and crazy eyed the man turned in his seat to point an accusing figure at the Earl. "Look what you made me do!"

The Earl seemed unabashed and took his time sweeping down to retrieve his fallen mug. "I did not make you do anything. Its you whose pigeon like hands fluttered so much they ruined a perfectly good pint." Morgaine snorted at the Earls laid back way of handling things.

"You find this funny do you missy?" he turned to her. "We'll see how funny things are when I stick him through." From his belt emerged an intricately carved dagger. It blade mirrored the taverns small scenery in a blurry array of images, that made Morgaine dizzy.

"Oh honestly man!" Morgaine let out an exasperated sigh. Her hand reached to take the dagger, but was instead sliced by the point. Scarlet colored blood dripped to the floor, mixing with the ale, making it ripple in red. "You idiot!" she screamed rearing back, her other hand clutching her sliced one.

"That will teach you not to meddle in affairs that aren't of your concern." The man sneered before turning back to the Earl, who seemed to find this all quite amusing. He advanced taking two clumsy steps forward. Morgaine would have ignored him and worked on finding a way to bandage her wound had the man not added "meddling whore."

Morgaine stopped dead in her tracks, "What did you call me?" The man didn't have time to answer before Morgaine jabbed him with a sharp up cut to his nose. Blood poured. The man let his precious dagger fall to the floor with a clank as he brought a hand up to his injured nose.

"You bitch!" he screamed. Every pair of shifty eyes was on the pair. Morgaine could feel angry eyes caving in on her from every side. Men didn't like it when she wagged her tongue, and showed her temper to the public. A man with long braided brown hair stood his fist slamming on the table.

"Learn your place women and keep quiet!" he roared. Morgaine turned on her heel facing him with the meanest look he'd ever seen a women give. It was not a look of scorn, but rather a look a bull gives before charging.

"Me learn my place? Learn yours Sir! I can assure you it is not anywhere in our business!"

The man would have retorted had the Earl not chosen then to stand, and order quiet. An immediate hush fell over the crowd, even Morgaine. He sat down with a quiet thank-you. With the wave of his hand he beckoned Morgaine to sit across from him. She did, splashing ale and blood over the legs of the rude blonde with the broken nose.

A serving wench brought over two mugs. "Can you ever enter a place without causing a public scene?" The Earl took a sip, and smacked his lips together.

Morgaine didn't answer, but rather stared off into the distance. She wondered briefly on the subject the Earl was bound to bring to the surface, and of the mess she had almost single handedly created. Perhaps she couldn't walk into a room with out making a spectacle of herself. It had never struck her fancy to even try.

The Earl was saying something, trying to get Morgaines attention, "Come on girl, I need your help! There are things to be done!" he bent down to whisper. "The Queen grows stronger everyday."

This snapped Morgaine back to attention, and she bent down to his level to pay closer attention. He continued, "Peasants and nobles alike are beginning to realize that she is not the Queen that her half sister was." His eyebrows met at the bridge of his nose, furrowing into one long auburn brow.

"Not like Queen Mary? How so?"

"She is of pure virtue! A lady with no faults! Her Majesty is still a virgin for gods sake, and continues to remain so!"

This took even Morgaine back, the very idea was preposterous! For the Queen to remain a virgin would mean no male heir! Would the people not revolt against women ruling over England almost independently? Morgaine brought this to his attention, only to have him laugh in her face. "This coming from the women with the mouth that would put a soldier to shame, and with the looks to disgrace all of England!" That heard him a hard rap to the head. "On a much more serious note, the people in fact do not disagree with her independence. Instead they HONOR it!"

"Swords!" she breathed. "I never thought I'd live to see the day when the people of England agreed with something other than their wretched routine. For surly such a hitch in the royal family line must throw them off quite a ways!"

"That is our problem!" he explained when Morgaine raised a questioning eyebrow. "According to the people the Queen is truly a saint! How can we expect a peasant revolution if there are no peasants who wish to revolt?"

"Everyone has a fault, saint or no."

"Not this saint of a Queen!"

"Hush!" she ordered. "I'm sure even Jesus sinned."

"Blasphemous"

"I said hush! There is a very simple solution to our problem! You are the Queens most trusted companion are you not?" The Earl nodded. "Fantastic! All you must do is get close enough to her to at least find out a royal scandal! For a royal scandal will surly bring lay fault on the Queen."

"A royal scandal!" the Earl scoffed, closing his eyes and resting his head on the scored wood of the backrest. "You act as though that is something simple to accomplish."

"It should be. for you."

"Well." he began, for he was not entirely shore that he was on the Queens good side at the moment.

"Well what?" Morgaine brought her eyes from beneath her mug to gaze at him from above the rim.

"I would think that finding a scandal of some sort would be a better task for you to complete."

"Are you mad? I can see it now. Me walking into her Majesties court, with jewelry in my hair, and hoops in my ears! Oh yes, Robert, she'd truly open up and let the secrets roll out then!" she banged the table with her fist in a sudden burst of obnoxious laughter. "Please excuse me if I will not execute your plan forthright."

The Earl sat back contemplating what she had just conveyed to him through humor. Morgaine could hardly hold herself as a lady to peasants, how would she survive in the court of England? The answer was simple, she wouldn't. They would have to find someone else. Her sisters perhaps.

"Fine, Faye is much a better candidate anyway."

Morgaine sputtered, sending a spray of ale flying in all directions. "My God! You have gone mad! Anyone who thinks that Faye is has the brain power to carry on a job such as this must be mad!"

"Tis' all to true. Faye isn't the smartest tool in the shed is she? Drusilla perhaps?"

"Loyal to the Queen in everyway possible."

"Katerina?"

"Married."

"Noelle?"

"She's eight for heavens sakes!"

The Earl continued to name off each and every one of Morgaine's 7 sisters, all of which were in some way unfit to play that part of a noble. "I suppose we shall have to hire someone else." Morgaine stated when he had finished naming that last sister, little 5-year-old Hattie. Silently she motioned for a serving wench to fill her mug.

"No" the Earl shook his head slowly, deep in thought. "We can not just hire a someone, the chances of disloyalty are far to risky."

"Then what do you intend."

"Shh! I'm thinking!" Morgaine sat back and watched the Earl rub his chin thoughtfully. If she concentrated hard enough she could see the gears turning in his head.

"We're going to use Faye," he began slowly. With a gesture of his hand he silenced the interjection that was about to burst from Morgaines mouth. "And you. You posses the brains to find a royal flaw, while your sister possesses the beauty and grace."

"Yes go on."

"I'm going to "marry" Faye. That's the way you and your sister are getting into the Queens ladies in waiting. I suppose it shall look a bit odd, me marrying someone who had never been introduced to the court of England, but no one will dare say a word against it. While in court, Faye will win over the simple-minded ladies, while you will win over the Queen. She's always had an open heart for odd one out, just make an effort to remain quiet for most of your stay at the palace."

"And how do you intend to get out of marrying Faye? Or will you go through the marriage?"

"By the time our marriage is meant to happen, the Queen will be dead, and I will be King! Naturally Faye will understand that I'll need to take on a more suitable wife. Of course both of you, and the other 5 sisters will be admitted into court."

Morgaine smiled at this thought. Their home along the Thames was hardly suitable for one person to live, let alone 6 children and a full-grown woman of 33! And with another one on the way. How their mother kept becoming pregnant was a mystery. Although there was the horrid possibility that she was whoring herself, but that was simply to dishonorable, even for Morgaine to consider!

"Alright Devereux, I think perhaps your plan just might work. I give you two days. Tomorrow we will meet back here, noon. At that time you will propose to Faye, and turn me into a lady! Two days from now, we meet two streets from the palace, where you will take Faye and I to our home for the duration."

They both grinned. The Earl picked up his mug, as did Morgaine, and they toasted.

"To riches!"

"To the crown!"

"To the death of her Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth!"