Anne sat in the parlor with a group of the wealthy wives of the high class who were gathered there for tea. Although when Anne got the invitation, the idea did not seem appealing to her at all, she took her husband Louis' suggestion and went anyway.
She sipped her tea carefully and listened to the light conversation and gossip from the other women.
It had been nice so far, until a
woman named Clarissa cleared her throat loudly.
"So Anne my dear," she began slowly. "Is King Louis going to have an heir anytime soon?" She raised her eyebrows at Anne and smiled slyly.
Anne choked on her tea and quickly tried to recover. She wiped her mouth before she spoke.
"Well. No. I mean, not that his highness and I do not want children, of course we do, but. We just..." She trailed off.
An older woman with graying hair placed a hand on Clarissa's shoulder.
"You are making the Queen uncomfortable dear. It's not proper to speak of such things."
"But Marie! You know that they must produce an heir for Louis soon to continue the blood line.
What if something would happen to end Louis life, they would have no heir to-."
Marie held up her hand.
"It is Louis and Anne's decision when they have children, no matter what the political stance on it may be. " she said in a voice that suggested that was the end of the conversation
She turned to Anne and smiled kindly.
"Do not worry about Clarissa." She whispered. "She means well but does not know how to express things in a manner that suggests so." Anne merely nodded and pushed her plate of tea cakes away. She had suddenly lost her appetite.
Many people had been talking to her about producing an heir and she was afraid. At only sixteen she was scared of the idea of bearing children, and even more afraid of Louis finding out her fears.
He was a quiet and very mellow man. Very shy and easily embarrassed. She never talked to him about much at all and now everyone expected them to have children.
A sudden wave of sickness washed over her.
"I think I would like to go home now." She said, standing up to fetch someone who would bring her home.
When she arrived there she inquired as to her husbands whereabouts and was informed that he had retired to his bedroom even though it was only mid afternoon. She took a deep shaky breath as she made her way to Louis' bedroom. She knocked on the door and waited for him to open.
After a few minutes the door opened a crack.
"What is so im-" he began in an irritated tone. When he saw it was Anne his expression softened.
"Oh Anne, it's you. What is wrong?" He asked, noticing the sick look on her face.
"Give me one moment." He said, closing the door. After a moment he reopened it and led her inside.
She lowered herself into the large chair that sat in the corner of his room.
"I must ask you something," she began. He nodded his head and she continued.
"Has anyone talked to you about...producing an heir? It seems that everyone around me wants to talk about us having children and I..." She trailed off and waited with bated breath for a response from her husband.
His face reddened and he slowly sat down on the foot of his bed.
"Yes. I hear it from almost everyone all the time. I did not speak to you about it though because I did not want you to feel pressured into trying to have children."
"Too late." She muttered.
He looked up at her and she cast her eyes to the ground. "Sorry." She apologized.
"That was uncalled for. I just think it funny that everyone else thinks they can decided when it is the right time for us to have children."
There was a moments silence and then Louis spoke.
"Anne, do you think you would want to have children now?"
Anne looked up at him, trying to hide the fear he felt creeping to her face.
"Louis I. Well. Yes, despite everything and everyone I do feel the desire for children." She said.
He smiled slightly.
"Would you like me to tell the servants to move your things to my room?" He asked, for up until now they had shared separate bedrooms.
She nodded her head and got up to leave the room. He caught her by the wrist and gently pulled her back.
"Anne, before you go, there is one more rumor I think we best discuss."
"What is that?" She asked.
"There is word going around that we...Well people seem to think that we share no love for each other. What I am trying to say, to ask, is well, do you have even the slightest affection for me in your heart?"
Anne's ice blue eyes widened in surprise. This was the last thing she expected him to ask her.
She looked into his eyes, which were a much darker, deeper blue than hers. More like the sea.
"Louis." She breathed softly.
"I think that sometime in the last two years of our marriage I did begin to fall in love with you although I didn't love you at first. But I was afraid to tell you, for I did not know if you loved me too or if you would be insulted by affection for you."
"Oh Anne." He said. "I loved you always. But you know the way I am. Some part of me refuses to let me believe that anyone could ever love me as deeply as I love them, and I did not think you liked me much at all, let alone loved me."
She leaned in toward him and rested her head on his shoulder.
"I say that it is time for us begin anew." She said.
He lifted her face towards his and kissed her for the first time in their two year marriage. "I agree." He said with a smile.
"But remember, people will say what they will. It may go down in history that we never loved each other. It doesn't matter what people will say about us we know the truth."
She kissed his cheek and he rested his head on hers, breathing in the scent of her perfume.
"We know the truth," She whispered. "Indeed."