1920 London (2016)
Bangladesh

The Prince's Pregnant Challenge(5)

By: Leslie North



“Cousin, this is Liane, my fiancée,” Prince Louis introduced Liane to Jean Pierre.

“We have met,” Liane said.

“Really?”

“Yes, at the country club but I was unaware that we are to be family soon,” Jean Pierre said. He moved closer to Liane. “Mademoiselle,” he said before he kissed her on both cheeks. Liane suppressed a frown and forced a smile instead.

“Excuse us,” Prince Louis said, as he left the room to speak with Jean Pierre privately. The two were quite close and Liane could not understand why. They were so different. The Prince always adhered to his duties; he was well mannered and never had scandals in the news. While he too was arrogant, he was not as bad as Jean Pierre was.

When the prince returned, he sat down opposite Liane. “I feel better knowing that you and Jean Pierre attend the same country club,” Prince Louis said to Liane as he unfolded his napkin.

“Why is that?” she asked. She certainly did not feel better.

“There will be someone to come to your rescue should you need assistance.”

Liane forced a smile as she picked up her cutlery. During dinner, there was of course much talk of politics. Once a week, Charles educated Liane on popular political subjects and made sure she was up to date on all current events. Liane was able to engage in a discussion with them but it was of no interest to her.

Her mother took the opportunity to praise Liane to the queen. She never missed the chance to praise her to anyone who would listen.

“She has definitely blossomed into a fine young lady,” the queen said with a smile. She clearly approved of Liane.

“You are too kind, your majesty,” Mrs LeBlanc replied.

“You have completed your higher education, am I correct?” the queen asked Liane.

Liane picked up a napkin and wiped her mouth before she replied. “Yes, I completed a degree in History.”

“That is impressive.”

“Which is your preferred century?” Prince Louis asked her.

“The sixteenth century, your highness,” Liane replied.

“Why is that?”

“I found the tale of Mary Queen of Scots very intriguing.”

After dinner, at the suggestion of the queen, Prince Louis and Liane continued their talk outside. “Her demise was rather sad though,” Liane said. “A queen killed for treason. It is such a shame.”

“It is a shame indeed.”

“I favoured Henry the Eighth,” Jean Pierre said. He was sitting outside when they walked up.

“Why is that?” Prince Louis asked with a smile. It did not surprise Liane that Jean Pierre would like Henry the Eighth. Any man with fidelity issues would favour him.

“He was a wise man.”

“With six wives,” Liane replied.

“When a man is widowed, is it not okay for him to take another wife?”

“Not when he is responsible for their deaths.”

“His marriage to his first wife was annulled. She died after and he had nothing to do with it.”

“Annulment,” Liane said sardonically. “That was the political term for it. It was really just a divorce because he wished to marry his mistress,” she added.

Prince Louis stood there amused as he watched Jean Pierre and Liane debate. They both seemed so passionate and intent on proving that their side was the correct choice. He could understand Liane’s interest, but why was Jean Pierre so passionate to the point of being argumentative?

“Anne Boleyn did not bed the king until they had wed,” Jean Pierre said.

“She was still his mistress and he took another when she was queen,” Liane replied.

“As King, he had the right to have mistresses.”

“As a man of honour, he should not have had mistresses.”

Jean Pierre laughed. “He was not the first king to seek solace elsewhere,” he said.

“It was not solace that he was looking for and he bedded far too many women.” It is not that Liane did not know that kings always had mistresses, concubines and harems. It was the fact that she disliked Jean Pierre. It did not surprise her at all that he was a fan of Henry the Eighth. He seemed to like the fact that he had six wives and could have any woman he wanted, instead of praising the work he did as a monarch.

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