Before there was the novel, there were the stories...

by Nan Hawthorne, who also writes under Christopher Hawthorne Moss, Books and Stories b ChristopherHawthorne Moss at

Monday, June 15, 2009

Old Stories: The Night After the Trial of lanimere's Brothers, July 768

1968 was a prolific uear particularly for me. I was 16 throughout all but two days of it. We lived in Chicago at the time, where I was enrolled first in Mather High School and then Senn High School. Laura's life was about to turn bery complicated and sad, so her own interest in the Story was starting to wane.

July 768

awrence and Jo prepare to go down for dinner.


Lawrence turned to face his wife, "What's the matter darling?"

"Why do I always do the wrong thing?"

"What are you worrying about now, love?" he asked sternly.

"About the bribe I paid. I meant well. I thought it would shut him up and you need never hear the story. I didn't think it would look like that. I mean, half the kingdom thinks there must be something between Shannon and myself if I went to the trouble of bribing, and the other half thinks there's trouble with our marriage if I can trust you to believe me."

Lawrence laughed. "Your only problem is worrying about the wrong things. I know there was nothing between Shannon and you. I must admit I was a little disturbed that you didn't trust me, tho."

"I was only trying to avoid a misunderstanding. That's all."

"I believe you, dearest," he said and kissed her lightly. "Now forget the whole matter."

After they had eaten, Shannon and Sean each sang a couple ballads.

"Sing me one of Rory's favorites, Shannon," Jo commanded when they had finished.

"Ah, let me see…Oh, I know just the one!" and he began to sing. It was a beautiful, sad song and Lawrence beheld tears in Josephine's eyes. He noticed suddenly she had turned very pale.

Before he could say anything, she had stepped from her chair and lay on the floor .

Shannon immediately stopped and knelt at her side. Lawrence reached it almost as soon.

"Someone fetch a doctor!"

"She's fainted, my liege," said Shannon quietly. "as anyone got water?"

Josephine revived before it reached her.

"Don't try to say anything, darling. The doctor's coming." Lawrence said, his face showing his worry.

"I don't need a doctor, Lawrence; I'm all right now, please let me up."

A slow smile spread across Shannon's face as he watched her struggle to rise. She had pressed one hand against her stomach as she fell. He noticed also that her breasts were fuller and she was much softer and prettier. "The King's a fool not to have known," he thought to himself. Turning to the rest of the company, most whom were smiling Lawrence's worry, he said, "I think the King and Queen and Queen want to be alone just now."

When the rest had left, Lawrence turned to Shannon. "What the devil are you smiling about?"

"I believe I'm needed elsewhere, milord," and Shannon departed hastily.

Josephine laughed. "Lawrence don't look so worried. I'm all right." Her eyes were twinkling with mischief.

"Josephine!" He held her by her shoulders an forced her to look at him. "You're hiding something from me. Let's have it!"

"Don't you know?" She teased him. "Can't you guess?"

"No! And I'm about out of patience!"

"Then, I guess I'll have to tell you, silly! I'm hoping to give Prince Peter a little brother!"

"Jo! Why didn't you tell me!!"

"Well, I wanted to be sure."

"How long?"

"Eight more months. It should be born in February, I think. What do you want, a boy or a girl?"

"I don't know," he said, staring hard at her. "I'll have to think about it. Right now I've got other thoughts on my mind!"

"Lawrence, please…not here!"

"What do I care where we are?" he asked, folder her into his arms.

"I care!" she cried, slipping away fro him which only increased his desire to have her.

"Oh no you don't!" and he caught her and pulled her tightly against him.

She struggled and protested that someone would see them but he paid no attention.

He kissed her hard and held her so tightly she cried out "Lawrence, please, I can't breathe," or, "you're hurting me…can't you wait until later? But even as she protested she sank to the couch and submitted to his desires.

She need not have worried, for Shannon had bolted the door behind him, saying, "They'll not want company tonight!" And he wandered off singing an old love song.

Coming up: How Rory Died and Finnegan O'Donnell Explains It

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About the author

Nan Hawthorne now writes under the name Christopher Hawthorne Moss. You can contact Christopher at .