St. Bartholomew's day
The Duke de Guise strolled up to the King, wiping his blade clean and kicking the bodies as he ventured through the aftermath of the massacre. Checking they were dead.
The streets stank and blood had stained everything.
A city cleansed.
Guise was proud of their accomplishment.
The King stood at the entrance to the palace, watching as his courtiers and subjects threw the Huguenot bodies in to the River. Laurent appeared behind him looking pale. The King turned to him slightly, not taking his eyes from the river – slowly turning red with every body that was discarded. "Are Margaret and Henry safe?" He asked.
"Yes your Majesty." Laurent said quietly. He knew Aimée was close by, he needed to get to her before Guise did. The man had a twisted smirk smothering his blood streaked face.
Suddenly Laurent spotted her. She was a few feet away and wasn't moving. Laurent's heart sank. Guise carried on inspecting the bodies and suddenly shouted.
"This one's alive!" He called, to no one in particular. The King turned around, as did Laurent and the rest of the court.
"Well dispose of it then." The King said, degrading the person even more than they already had been.
It was Aimée!
Guise raised his sword and prepared to strike, savouring the moment.
"No!" Laurent shouted, running over to her. Just before reaching Aimée's body, Guise swung his sword round and let if hover just in front of Laurent's throat. He stopped in his track. Guise inclined his head.
"Well, well, well Laurent. What was that?" Guise said patronizingly.
Laurent couldn't hide his feelings anymore. "Don't kill her. I'm begging you." He said, feeling the cold metal brush his neck.
The King watched on intently.
"And why not, may I ask?" Guise said, smiling deviously. Laurent thought, trying to organise what he could say. On the ground he saw Aimée's eyes flicker.
Anton placed himself next to the King, waiting for the opportune moment.
"Let me guess…" Guise began, nicking Laurent's neck. He felt a bead of blood slide down his neck. "You love her." He said. Laurent nodded slightly.
Guise spat on the floor.
"Sire," He said, addressing the King. "You cannot let this woman go, it will show weakness to your people, show you to be too forgiving." He smirked at Laurent. "And a courtier who defies you should be dealt with. The King's eyes glazed over as he thought.
"You know Sire, I now that Laurent has been going behind your back." Anton whispered. "I overheard them last night pronouncing themselves man and wife in the eyes of God. An illegal wedding."
The King had made his decision.
"Kill the girl and Duke de Broglie is to be executed too. Right now." He declared.
Laurent's breath caught in his throat. He looked down to Aimée, her eyes were just about focused on him. He pushed Guise's sword away from his body and fell to the floor next to Aimée.
"My love." He whispered, flattening her hair and pulling it away from sweat slicked face. Aimée squeezed his hand slightly. "Don't try too hard." He whispered. "Aimée, Aimée, my wife…" He didn't know what to say. Tears poured down his face. His voice was broken, "They're going to kill us." Aimée pulled him closer, Laurent reacted and pulled her in to an embrace. She winced and groaned slightly. "I'm sorry." He apologised.
"Enough of the talk." Guise stated, pulling Laurent away. "Time to get rid of this heresy." He drew his sword.
Laurent tried to move but was held back by soldiers. He shouted to Aimée and managed to lose the grip of one of his captors. Another man jumped on him.
Laurent cried out as his body slammed against the bloody ground.
He professed his love for Aimée, telling her they would be together soon in heaven.
The crowd from behind started shouting.
Guise plummeted his sword in to Aimée's heart, Laurent screamed and felt tears stinging his face. The Duke turned around and backhanded Laurent.
"You're as sinful as they are." He spat, pulling Laurent's head back, exposing the pale flesh of his neck. Guise drew his sword and efficiently slit Laurent's throat.
The crowd fell silent.
"Throw them in the river." The King commanded.
Guise bowed and did as his master bid. Dragging the bodies to the river and throwing them in.
Laurent and Aimée sank as their souls ventured in to the next world where they could be together… forever.