Copyright 2011 © Rebecca Garner. All Rights Reserved.

Edited: 8/7/11

Prologue

February 7, 1485. Toulouse, France.

Wickedness ruled the air that night. Alice could feel it straight down to her very bones. She hear shouts coming from her parent's chambers but was hesitant to approach. That is, until she heard her mother scream out in pain. It was then her suspicions were confirmed, and she slowly walked through the hall. Her knee's bent down to the floor beneath her, and placed her right eye on top of the keyhole in the door. Though she loved her mother dearly, and prayed continually for the strength to stand against her tyrannical father, now was not the time her prayers were answered.

The sight she saw was enough to bring tears to her childish eyes. Her mother lying there on the floor as her father spat a word at her with all the hatred in the world. "Whore!" But Alice took solace that her mother moved a leg, and stood from the floor. Her words in response to Father's were simple, filled with power and lacking the usual simple minded obedience Mother had always given him. They were arguing in English, their native tongue, and it took Alice a moment or two to translate the words into French.

"I am no longer your whore, Hugh. Nor am I your slave. The only master I am familiar with is God in heaven. The only thing I allow to control my thoughts and actions is my heart. As you are neither God nor my heart, I see your wish to constrict me with rules as a demonstration of who the only master you are familiar with, is Lucifer."

Alice didn't have to see her father's face to know it was alight with rage. She winced at the thought of him when he was angry, and it only served to bring fresh tears to her eyes. Her eyes slowly drifted to the blackish-blue sea that had encompassed the majority of her left forearm. A single droplet from her tear-ducts landed on the bruise, and she moaned inwardly in memory of the pain the contusion induced. Her gaze snapped back to the scene unfolding behind the keyhole when she heard her father's response to Sybil's outburst.

"I am your husband, and as such, you will obey me!" The last words tumbled from his spiteful mouth dripping with fury. "If I tell you to never see that sonofabitch again, you are not to see him!"

"I will see whomever I wish, Hugh. I followed my heart, and to tell true, I do not regret doing so. I love him; I've always loved him. He loves me as well, and unlike you, you monster, he would never beat me or my children!"

"You speak as if they're only your children and not mine. If you try to run off with that whore-son, then do you not think for even a moment that I wouldn't hesitate to wring the necks of your children. If they aren't truly mine, then I wouldnt have any qualms about killing them both!"'

"You're right, they aren't yours, Hugh. And as such, you shouldn't forget that at any moment I could run off with him, and take my children with me! Since they aren't really yours, you should have no qualms about that either!

Alice had to muffle her shriek with her hand when she saw her father draw a dagger from his side. The blade glinted in candle light evilly. She couldn't manage to suppress a violent shiver run down her spine, whose convulsions tore her gaze from the keyhole. The next moment she heard her mother choke in disbelief and pain. Alice recognized the sound as the same one she had made when her father delivered the blow that inflamed her arm. She knew what emotions backed the sound.

Every nerve in her little body was throbbing with need to rush to her mother's aid, but two thoughts stopped her. The first was of what her father would do to her if she ran into the room. The second was what would happen to Edward if she was no longer there. Her little brother was sleeping peacefully downstairs in his room and had no idea what was happening between their parent's right now. If she went in there...she knew she would not come out. And if she didn't come out... her little seven year old brother could be changed into a replica of this monster hurting their mother. She had to protect him from such a fate, if it was the last thing she did.

Thus, with pain, sorrow, and hatred coursing through her veins, Alice forced herself to stand and go back to her brother Edward. Soon after she vacated the keyhole, the door opened with a creek. Hugh Masters stuck his head out of the door to be sure no one was there. He glanced back at his whore of a wife with disgust before exiting their room, and eventually, their house. He walked onto the road a free man.

The street lay empty. Most men sat in their favorite tavern, gambling away their earnings or spending them on their favorite courtesan in the local brothel. Meanwhile, their wives lay abed with the children in their cozy homes. The sky was dark but for the illuminating night sky, and outside candles of surrounding houses. Laughter bellowed from a building a little ways down the road, but the sound didn't reach his ears, deafened by exhilaration, as he anxiously hoped to avoid suspicion.

The trees swayed softly above him in a light wind, messing his sweat glistened hair. The air would have frozen anyone else solid, but the hatred fueling his actions pulsed fire into his very soul. His movements went unseen; his eyes darted from side to side: careful… patient… deadly. His sticky curls fell in front of his face, shielding the rare passersby from his lethal expression. No one noticed the dark red splotches staining his clothes from his arms down, marred throughout the black fabric of his once pristine doublet. His hands shivered. The blood of his victim clung to him like sweat to a well-exercised body.

He did not want to think of her, lying crumpled on the floor, unconscious and possibly lifeless. He did not mean to hurt her, but it was her fault. Every damn thing was that bitch's fault. Images of her pretty face still drifted into his imagination. Her touch still clung to him desperately. Her soul piercing screams still reverberated in his memory. The smell of her blood still tickled his nose. He still tasted the bitterness of the word he had spat at her, "whore". The overwhelming senses were enough to make his body vibrate. He loved her, and she betrayed him.

The memory of their argument still lingered in his mind. He had confronted her about it, and seen the look in her eyes change as something snapped within her. They were no longer the fearful, timid brown eyes he knew so well, but rather... relieved indifference. That he could have dealt with less aggressively; it was the reason for her relief that prompted him to do, well, this. He had ranted on to her about the truth of her character as demonstrated by her promiscuity. And there she had stood, listening to his cruel hate-filled words will nonchalance.

She was relieved because she thought that now her and lover could live together without fear of his reaction. Now, judging by the circumstances, she would've thought twice about voicing that opinion. But the opportunity had passed, she had told him how she felt, and here he stood. But at least he was still alive. And to that, he was willing to drink to in satisfaction of his accomplishment. He stepped into the tavern with loud gamblers he could hear from outside the door. The place was crawling with busty wenches looking for a good time, and he walked in proudly with a grin crawling across his smug face.

I only ask that if you like it or have any suggestions for me please leave a review! I know this prologue is filled with gruesome thoughts, and actions, but I really hope you continue reading and leave review to help me improve my writing! Any thoughts you have are much appreciated, and every review i receive will be returned :)

P.S. Shout out to my great beta, Adrenaline, who suggested I re-write this scene to add the actual murder in. Thanks a lot for the advice, I hope this makes it better!

Ok, ill stop bothering you now. Hope you keep reading!

Rebecca