A/N I do not own the story's picture. It belongs to Angirias on DeviantArt. I still have to ask her to use the picture... We asked her though.
In the stables, Lizzie was gently stroking Blackie's snout, trying to calm her. The horse was always in-tune with what she was feeling, and when Lizzie was stressed, so was the dear animal.
"Dear Elizabeth...are you sure this beast will not harm me?" Darren stayed about fifteen feet away from where Blackie was being held.
Lizzie chuckled. "Unless you are made of grass, she will not bite. If you do not mess with her behind, she will not kick. You have nothing to worry about, sir." She let out a soft sigh. "Would you like to pet her? I have some sugar in a bucket nearby, you can give her a small piece."
"I'm not sure that would be necessary. I can see it just fine from here." Darren said, swinging his arms around to cover his torso.
Lizzie looked at him in mild disbelief, nostrils flaring. "She, not it. Her name is Blackie, and her years outnumber yours and lives she has saved are infinitely more. She hath carry men out of the battlefield, away from the dagger of our enemies." Her teeth ground together in anger, and Blackie rose up onto her hind legs, whinnying loudly.
Lizzie tugged at her halter sharply. The horse knew to get down and quiet down. Darren quickly backed his way into a bucket of open horse feed. Lizzie couldn't help but laugh hysterically at this happening. Blackie snorted with amusement too. Darren spontaneously jumped up, only to have his head collide with a metal pole.
"OUCH!" He yelled, in agony. Lizzie responded by only laughing harder.
"Oh Darren, for you should know not to jump into a bucket full of horse feed..." Lizzie muttered.
"I did not jump, woman! I was frightened."
"Frightened, you call it? But I say otherwise. Never have I met a man who is frightened by a horse." Lizzie replied, rolling her eyes. "Then again, maybe 'man' is not the term I should use. You are but a boy."
"I am NOT a MERE BOY!" Darren said, angered. Lizzie cowered behind the horse, in fear of a strike.
"I was only s-stating an opinion sir..." Lizzie said extremely scared and afraid. Darren started laughing.
"I'm not going to hurt you. That is something I have told myself I'll never do to anybody."
"But you're going to war. By definition, you will hurt people."
"And I shall do my best not to."
"And, you have to learn how to ride a horse..." Lizzie said in a teasing way, which only made Darren shove her in a fun matter. "Its better to start now then later..." Lizzie shoved Darren back, but before she tripped over the water bucket on the stall's floor, Darren, quick on his feet, grabbed and caught Lizzie.
"Where do you think you're going miss?" Darren said. Catching Lizzie, and moving some of her hair out of her face.
"I'm not going anywhere but here." Lizzie said, gazing into Darren's dark orbs. "Now that you mentioned it earlier, but you have really pretty eyes.."
"And you have some pretty eyes too." Darren responded, moving his head closer, Lizzie kept her eyes open, they were inches away. When suddenly, the stable door was opened with such force that most of the horses backed up at the door slamming open, and that they jumped.
"ELIZABETH!" An angry man's voice boomed threw out the stables. Lizzie immediately recognized the voice as her father's. He was searching the stalls, reaching Blackie's stall and finding the pair in the midst of an almost-kiss.
"Child! You cannot even fathom the pain I will cause you for such impish behavior. How dare you rest your lips upon a man's? Blasphemy!"
"Father! It's not what you think!" Lizzie stuttered as Matthew forcefully broke the two apart and smacked Lizzie across the face with such might, that she fell backwards. Blackie reared up at the fight. Matthew struck the horse in the hip, causing Blackie to kick Matthew near the groin.
"I never wanted to work near these stupid creatures! Your witch of a mother talked me into the horse trade."
"My mother was never a witch!"
"How do you know child?" Lizzie's stepmother piped in. Lizzie hears the faint patter of a female running towards them.
"Because, you killed her Lauren!" It was Guinevere. Lizzie was relieved, but tasted a familiar coppery flavor in her mouth.
"Queen Guinevere! How dare you say such a thing against your own midwife?" Lauren said, Guinevere had anger in her eyes.
"You killed my only son Lauren! He was crying, in my arms, and then you took him away from his own mother. You smothered him Lauren! I was watching you! You thought I was sleeping, but all I wanted was to hold my son! You put that piece of heavy cotton over his head and he turned blue. He needed to breathe! He was to be Lizzie's future husband!"
Arthur walked in the stables at this point. "Charlotte was a month away from delivering, and you being the only midwife in town knew everybody's gossip. Yes, marrying at the same age was forbidden, but we needed them to be the same age! You knew that if you wanted your daughter to marry my son, you'd either kill my son, or kill Charlotte. You did both!" Guinevere was crying hysterically, for after that child, she wasn't able to carry any more.
"Lauren. I think its time to get going." Matthew said, grabbing Lizzie and Lauren. Lizzie ducked away from his grip, only angering him more.
"How dare you attempt to take Lizzie!" Darren said, pulling Lizzie behind him, if only to protect her from her father.
"She is my child, boy! I can do that I please with her!" Matthew said, ready to punch Darren in the face. Arthur quickly escorted Guinevere out of the stables and ran back inside, unhitching Blackie's stall gate and letting her run out. Lizzie was still behind Darren.
"No! Abusing her like that is a punishment that can only be resolved by lynching!" Darren said. Guinevere ran back into the stables with the Green Knight.
"Arthur, sire. Are you really going to listen to these children or are you going to listen to me, your stable manager?"
"I can only trust those who don't lie." Arthur said, holding Excalibur. "Both of you are accused of killing innocents and betraying the king."
Matthew and Lauren both looked at each other, and both took off as fast as they could and hopped on a bay horse. Darren though, was on another horse's back and was hot on their trail. Lizzie whistled for Blackie and she came galloping back. She quickly hopped on her back and soon; they were galloping off, leaving Guinevere, Arthur and the Green Knight speechless.
"She killed our son?" Arthur asked, confused.
"I saw it with my own eyes, my husband." Guinevere stated. They noticed Darren tackling Matthew off of the horse, forcing him to the ground. The Green Knight mounted his dappled steed and was soon after them too. He was back a half hour later. With both Matthew and Lauren behind his horse, Lizzie was holding the bay and Darren was well, walking beside his horse. Lizzie quickly dismounted her horse once they made it to the stables. The stable boys took the horses and Lizzie quickly wrapped her arms around Darren.
"You sir, are the most bravest, courageous man that I have ever known." She said, looking at Darren in the eyes. Darren couldn't help but blush.
"You do NOT have my permission to marry my daughter!" Matthew said angrily.
"I'll make it clear that they will marry sir. For you ruined her chance at marriage when your second wife killed my son, and killed your FIRST wife." Arthur said angrily. Guinevere closed the stable doors, so that the children wouldn't have to hear this, she stayed with them.
"Ginny, is it true that I was supposed to marry your son?" Lizzie asked, holding Darren's hand. Guinevere was still crying, but only small sobs here and there.
"Yes, your mother thought that she was carrying a girl, and we were close friends when we were younger. We planned to have our first children marry each other, if the gender allowed us." Guinevere responded, clearing a tear from her eye.
"And it was supposed to right?" Lizzie asked, she was really curious.
"Yes, my son was a month older than you are, his birthday is actually today, he would've been thirteen if it wasn't for that wench of a midwife." Guinevere said hastily.
"Is that why you looked after me?" Lizzie asked.
"Come with me, both of you." Guinevere said, walking towards the castle. They entered the castle and went into the library.
"Ginny, I want an answer." Lizzie said.
"Lizzie, I know. You see, your father was always like this. He abused your mother too. She'd come to me day after day, crying, like you do. When she found out she was pregnant, your father beat her. She told me that if she was to die, that I look out for you." Guinevere said, at this point, Arthur walked into the library.
"Yes, your mother wanted us to take you in. She didn't want your father to take you." Arthur piped in, and let out a long sigh.
"But you know your father." Guinevere said, Arthur put his hand on Guinevere's shoulder.
"We sent our best knight..." Arthur started.
"My brother, right?" Darren piped in.
"Yes actually my boy. He went to fetch the child once we found out Charlotte had passed." Arthur responded, he remembered this day like it was the back of his hand.
"And?" Lizzie said. She wanted to know everything.
"He caused the horse to spook and run Charles into the river, forcing him to drown. That horse was Blackie herself. She never forgave herself for losing her beloved owner." Arthur said.
"No wonder why Blackie recognized Darren your highness!" Lizzie responded.
"Yes, Charles brought Darren to the stables quite often. After that incident, we decided to pray for the best and leave you with your father." Arthur responded.
"I argued to forcefully bring you here, but I can't disobey my husband's ruling." Guinevere said.
"This is all making sense now! Just how did Lauren kill my mother?" Lizzie asked.
"Lauren let your mother bleed out. You'll understand this when you've given birth, Lizzie, but you see, when you're giving birth, you bleed from down there. If the bleeding isn't stopped, you can die easily." Guinevere stated.
"So she died from bleeding out?" Lizzie responded, "She could've been saved!"
"Yes, your mother could've been saved, but Lauren chose not too. She only wanted was to marry your father." Guinevere said.
"So she got what she wanted after slaughtering two innocent lives?" Lizzie yelled, she noticed that her nose started to bleed and Arthur went to get something to hold her nose and stop the bleeding.
"In all sight, yes." Guinevere said, Arthur walked in holding an old cloth and Lizzie pressed it against her nose.
"What is their punishment for all of this?" Lizzie asked, Arthur looked at Guinevere, who in return said.
"She is an adult now, I believe she should know."
"Lauren is being hung at this very moment. Your father escaped from our hands and is nowhere to be found." Arthur said, Lizzie and Darren's expression changed drastically.
"Do we have to be there?" Lizzie asked.
"No. I recommend that you stay here with Guinevere." Arthur said, leaving the castle.
"I need to see her. I need to see that wench die! She took from me my mother, and I shall see her life be taken." Lizzie practically growled, and Darren tugged at her arm.
"No! You really don't!" Guinevere stated.
"Her body will contrive in horrible ways. No woman needs to witness such a terrible deed." Darren stated, trying to talk her out of it.
"I have seen my fair share of hangings Lizzie, they are a gruesome sight to see." Guinevere said in a polite manner.
"All the more reason for me to experience it! She deserves the pain, so she will know what has been done unto me."
"Lizzie, that is no way to be a proper lady." Guinevere said, Lizzie tore a glance at her with eyes filled with anger.
"Shouldn't you, a woman who has lost her only heir, also feel the need to see the hanging?"
"A child like you shouldn't be saying thing like that!" Arthur all but yelled at Lizzie. His sudden entrance scared Lizzie.
"Arthur! You know better than to barge in like that!" Guinevere yelled, this was when Lizzie started shaking.
"Guinevere! You do not interrupt me! I was trying to finish my sentence! Lizzie, you see, watching someone being hung is life changing. It is one thing to know that people die by the hands of another man, but another thing to watch it happen...or be the one to cause it. Sometimes, they live and have severe problems or they die right on spot." Arthur said calmly.
"But, sire!" Lizzie rebutted.
"Yet, I regret making that decision not to take you in. I was so depressed when our son tragically was murdered, that I couldn't bear looking at another person's child. Even if that child was meant to marry my son who passed." Arthur said, a tear forming in his eye.
The Green Knight entered, holding onto the doorframe as he spoke. "The floor is about to drop, king. She will be hanged in a moment, and you are must be a witness." He said, hurriedly, and then left.
Arthur walked out, and so did Guinevere, leaving Lizzie and Darren standing there in silence. "I'm going to watch." Lizzie whispered, more to herself than Darren.
"I cannot stop you, mistress." He said, shaking his head.
She walked out the door then peeked back in. "Aren't you coming?"
A/N We gave you a CLIFFHANGER! Go ahead, like this story, click that blue button on the bottom of the page that says review this chapter. R&R ~ JayBee188 and Paddygirl101