Chapter 9

"Agh!" Penelope cried out, falling on the floor in her bedchambers, her gown spread all around her. She looked like a spoiled child, her face and eyes bloated with tears and her hands grabbing at her hair.

"My Queen!" Jaqueline fell to her knees. "Whatever is the matter? You have been acting strange all day."

She sniffed, taking the skirt in her hands to display the fresh tear she had just received when her dress caught on the corner of her dresser. "My-my favorite gown...," the Queen muttered, feeling like she was cracking on the edges. Her smooth, unemotional facade was breaking. Today felt like the worse day ever, as if everything, all her pent up feeling, was spilling over. Henry was so horrible, so horrific...she hated him! She wanted to run away, but there was no way to run away to!

"Ohh, do not worry about it, Your Highness," her handmaid put her reassuring arms about her queen. "I shall have it fixed--it shall be prettier then ever. Come, come. Let me undress you and prepare you for bed and I will comb your hair as you like, and-and I wil send for some sort of dessert."

"How could I go on without you, Jaqueline?" Penelope rubbed her eyes as Jaqueline helped her up. "How ridiculous--how stupid--do I feel!"

Jaqueline began briskly undoing the back of the gown. "You shouldn't feel ridiculous, or stupid. My Mama always used to tell me that crying on occasions was good. Let it out, cleanse yourself."

"You are so mild-tempered and wonderful and smart," murmured Penelope as she pulled her arms from the sleeves. "You should be Queen instead of me. I am terrible at it."

"Oh, Your Highness! Never say that, please!" Jaqueline cried out as the queen stepped from amist her pile of skirts and began to slip on her nightdress. "You have trained for the longest time for this position, and you are so naturally inclined to it, so lovely in appearance and pleasing in nature."

"You are too wonderful, Jaqueline," Penelope sighed, allowing Jaqueling to help her to bed and tuck her beneath her covers like she was a child.

"Oh, Your Highness," her handmaid shook her head, smiling. Pushing away a stray golden curl in a gentle, maternal fashion, she continued, "You just had a bad day. We all have them. I shall have you fixed up, My Queen."

The End

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