Isabella: Braveheart of France by Colin Falconer

14 Oct

Chapter 2

Bells peal across the city. The town is hung with banners. Edward of England arrives in a thunder of hooves, his men dressed in royal livery, scarlet with yellow lions. He jumps down from his horse, his cloak swirling, and tosses back a mane of golden hair. He is like a song a troubadour might sing.

He carries himself with the loose-limbed stride of a man accustomed to having others make way for him. He is tall, and blue eyed, and smiles at her with such easy charm it makes her blush.

It is love at first sight.

Her father presents her and as she steps forward she raises her eyes, hoping to see that glorious smile again. But his attention is already elsewhere, on her father, on the bishop, on her uncle, Valois.

“We should get to business,” he says.

For three days they talk about Gascony. England camps outside the town, a forest of pavilions flourishes outside the walls, as if they are besieged. There is not a room to be had anywhere, beggars and camp followers sleep in porches and gateways, the town is bursting. Isabella patrols the battlements and passages, anxious for a glimpse of him. They cannot be married until they settle the politics.

She hates it here. Boulogne is grey and cold. The banners seem to be fading in the rain.

She closes her eyes and imagines him. He is hers. Her father was right, she is fortunate. He is beautiful, he is a king and he is all hers.

* * * * *


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Genre – Historical Fiction

Rating – PG-13

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