It was a gloomy morning when the French ship landed at England's port.
The rain hung in the air and there were few people there, but the few that were there looked curiously on the ship when it came into the little harbor.
A beautiful young woman with long curly mahogany brown hair stepped down on the bridge.
It was Helena, the daughter of the King of France.
A jet black carriage drawn by equally black horses came driving down the road and stopping in front of Helena and her servants.
She climbed into the wagon and took a last look at the little village.
Some older women whispered excitedly to each other when they saw who the beautiful woman was. The rumor had gone about that the king would have married off his daughter to the king of England. The rumor was true figured women, why else would Helena to be here in England but his parents? She was, after all, only 16 years old. The coachman jumped up on the cart and steered the horses out of the village towards the castle king of England lived.
Helena looked sadly out of the carriage window at the beautiful green landscape. She sighed and leaned back in the carriage.
A few hours later stayed at last carriage. Helena stepped out and looked up at the big magnificent castle. It was surrounded by a moat with crystal clear water. In front of the large oak doors that lede into the castle stood a couple of guards with scowl. Helena felt the butterflies started flying around in the belly of her. When she was not completely happy with being married off to a man she has never met she wanted to make her parents proud of her and do everything she could to her new husband. She did not know what was expected of her, then swung the great doors opened and a powerful man with dark hair and a beard came out. Judging by his outfit was William, king of England. Helena swallowed nervously and went to meet her new husband. He swung out his powerful arms with a big smile.
"You must be Helena, welcome to England," he said.
"Thank you, it's an honor to meet you," said Helena and curtsied nervously. William took up Helena the one hand and kissed it lightly.
"The pleasure is entirely on my side"
He gestured to the servants that they could drive away the carriage and escorted ago Helena into the castle. William showed Helena around the small park at the rear, and all rooms in the castle. Finally, he showed her own room on the highest floor. The furniture was all in a bright pink color, it was clear that there was a woman who would stay here.
"The food is served for an hour in the main hall, I hope you come and eat with us," he said, leaving Helena in the pink room. Helena gave him a friendly smile and nodded before she threw herself down on the pink bed.
"So this is where I will spend the rest of my life," thought Helena sadly.
An hour later, Helena came into the great hall, she wore a cute pink dress with a deep neckline. About thirty people were already sitting at the table and ate their food. All fell silent when Helena went up against the head of the table where William sat. He made a gesture which suggested that she would sit beside him down.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is my wife Helena" he said, looking proudly at Helena. All the people in the hall looked curiously at Helena and started to applaud. Afterwards came the servants in with the food, the men were thrown himself avidly over the food.
The dinner lasted several hours but Helena went up a little earlier to his room to rest and get out of the tight dress. She had received it from her mother before she went, it would obviously be a great first impression to wear it when she meet William. But it was almost impossible to breathe with the tight corset. When she finally got off the Helena went and lay down in his bed. She was up there a long time, thinking. It was almost midnight when William came into her room. Helena felt her heart began to beat faster, she pretended she was asleep and hoped that her husband would go. And he did. Helena puffed out and fell asleep eventually.
Time passed and Helena began to feel more and more at home in the castle, she began to learn where everything was and the names of the servants. She did not spend as much time with William. He could be gone for days on end, and sometimes even weeks. Once he was in the palace, he had busy to discuss with their advisor. But Helena had nothing against this, she actually was just happy that she almost never met him. William had only been friendly and nice to Helena, but it was the only one. He was more than twice as old as she was and they were not equal at all. If Helena had to choose, she had never married him.
One day when she was sitting in the window of her room, she saw some boys on the other side of the moat to practice to shoot with bow, and it gave her an idea. When William later that day came home from yet another of his travels came Helena springandes down the stairs to meet him.
"William" she shouted and rushed forward to give him a hug.
"Helena was nice to finally meet you," he said and held her.
"Tell me about your trip," said Helena happily as they walked through the castle. William talked about how he had it in London but Helena scarcely listened. When he was finally finished, they stood in the little park in the sunshine.
"Do you like it in my castle?" Asked William friendly and looked at Helena.
"I like it just fine here!" Said Helena trevandes for the right words. "But ... when you are away so often I have little boring. It would be fun to have something to do, so I thought if I could maybe learn archery! "
"Archery" said William, laughing amused "Women should not get involved with archery!" He looked at Helena with hopeful eyes looked into his. She was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen and wanted her to be happy. He took her hand in his and said:
"If that's what you want. I'll check if there's anyone who can get to the shooting range, "said William and gave her a light kiss before he went back into the castle. Helena sat down on one of the benches and smiled to himself.
The next morning before William went he presented Helena for Jack, her teacher in archery.
"Unfortunately I have to be away for a whole week," said William to Helena. "I'm really sorry that I can not stay here with you"
"Do not worry, I'll be fine," said Helena, smiling. "Make sure and stay a little longer next time you come home only."
William hugged Helena before he went out from the palace and went away in the black cart. Helena turned and looked at his archery coach. He looked to be only a few years older than herself. He was tall and lanky and had pretty long brown hair. He looked at her with his brown eyes and held out his hand.
"My name is Jack," he said with a smile.
"Helena" replied Helena and shook his hand.
"Archery course is located a bit away so we'll have to ride there if it's okay with you," asked Jack. Helena nodded. Williams guards asked if they needed to be escorted to the archery course, Helena was actually the Queen of England. The guards went back to the big oak doors and Helen and Jack went down to the stables to make to order two horses. Helena was not so used to self do in order horse. She always had a servant who led the horse to her when she would ride as Jack taught her how to do. Once she sat on his horse, she glanced at Jack as smoothly jumped up on his own and smiled at her. He had a wonderful smile. Helena got a warm feeling inside every time he smiled at her. They rode at full gallop towards the archery course which was a few kilometers from the castle in a field. When they arrived helped Jack to her horse, it was a bit difficult with the long dress. They were almost alone on the big archery course in addition to some young boys practiced their archery technique. Helena and Jack went furthest where they can train alone. Jack took up a bow and showed Helena how she would keep it and then gave it to Helena. Helena took it and tried to keep as Jack instructed.
"To" asked Helena when she was in the bow. Jack laughed when she looked at Helena blushed slightly.
"No this", he said and stood at Helena and laid their hands on her. Helena nervous swallowed.
"Try to relax, and lower elbow" he said and put his hand on Helena's elbow. "Add arrow against the string. Pull back and release it away. "
She did as he said and dropped off the arrow. It landed a few meters from the dartboard. Helena blushed and lowered the bow.
"It was not so bad for the first time," Jack said, and smiled at her. He was still standing close to her. The smell of straw struck her and she felt her heart skipped a beat. She could almost feel his chest raised and lowered when he breathed. Nervously, she looked up into his face and before she knew it, he bent forward and kissed her. Helena closed her eyes and for a moment she forgot all about the time and place, that she was married and that what she did was enormous evil against his real one. But she did not care, all she cared about was the here and now and the man she kissed. She did not want this moment to end. But it did. Helena opened her eyes and looked at Jack nervously took a step backward.
"Sorry," he stammered, "I would not have done that, I do not know what got into me"
Jack looked so sad and at the same time terrified of Helena took a step closer to him.
"It's okay" whispered Helena "I forgive you." She put her arms around his neck and kissed him. William was not there, and he never needed to know.
The day began to draw to a close, Helena and Jack was still on the archery course. But Helena was just as bad as when she started. She was lying in the grass beside Jack and saw the sunset. She had told more for Jack that day than she ever did for William throughout the month she lived in his castle. She had told me about his home in France, where his parents and his upbringing. Jack had in turn told of his upbringing in England. When the sun goes down they rode back to the castle. It received to say goodbye to Jack, but they decided to meet again the following day. Helena hardly slept anything that night. She could not stop thinking about Jack and how wonderful he was.
The next day when they met they rode not shooting range. Instead, they rode to the coast, they bathed in the cool water and dried himself on the beach in the sun. When the sun went down over the water and threw a beautiful red glow over the ocean was Helena and Jack still on the beach. Jack intertwined his fingers in Helena and looked into her eyes.
"I love you," he said seriously.
"I love you," said Helena and looked into his dark eyes and kissed him. It felt like nothing could ruin their lives.
The sun had long since gone down when Helena and Jack rode home to the castle. Since William was away Jack stayed in the castle at Helena's room. They tried to make sure that none of the servants saw that Jack followed when Helena went into her room and locked the door behind them.
When the sun came up the next day woke Helena at Jack's side. He was already awake and looked at her with those beautiful kind eyes.
"Good morning," he said and kissed her.
"Hello," replied Helena and kissed him back.
"Do you think I could stay here another night?" Jack asked hopefully.
"I do not think so ... William comes home early tomorrow. We will probably not be able to meet so much more. "Said Helena sadly. Jack was silent. He ran his hand over Helena and looked gloomily at her ring.
"We can accommodate" exclaimed Jack suddenly. "We take an opposite horse and flee to the coast, we can take a boat to the mainland and live there. We can get married and travel the world. We can be together forever. "
Jack looked eagerly Helena and stood up. He began digging in his pants that were thrown on the floor but the only thing he was looking for a red string. Helena sat up in bed and looked at Jack as he sat down on one knee and took Helena's hand.
"Helena, will you marry me?" He said and looked seriously into her eyes. She did not know why but she felt hot tears began to flow down her cheeks as she smiled.
"Yes, of course I want to marry you! But ... "
"No, but" Jack said, and kissed her hand. "I love you and you love me, that is all that is needed"
Helena smiled as she looked at Jack who tore up the scarlet line in two and tied one around his left ring finger and took up Helena's left hand where Williams ring set. Instead, Jack took up Helena's right hand and tied the cord around her ring finger.
"You get a real ring as soon as I have got money," he said and laughed string that wrapped around her finger. Helena sat down on his knees in front of him and took his hands in hers.
"This string is ten times better than the ring I got from William," said Helena, and took off his expensive ring. She went to the window and threw the ring into the water.
"When we hold?" She asked, smiling Jack.
"How about tonight?" He replied, and walked up to her. She nodded and looked at his right hand where the cord set and switched it to his left finger.
"I have to pack," she said happily.
It was sunset when Helena and Jack went down to the entrance to leave the castle forever. Helena took Jack's hand and they would just walk out the door when it opened and in came William. Helena jumped frightened and Jack hugged her hand. William looked at both of them and it was not long before he realized what was happening. He looked cold in Helena and turned to his guards.
"Seize them," he exclaimed, pointing at Helena and Jack.
"Wait, William, that's not what it looks like" trying to Helena and released Jack's hand. William went back to Helena and looked coldly down at her.
"Lock them in separate rooms," he said and turned to the guards again. "We butcher boy"
"No," shouted Helena horrified and tried to run after William when the guards came and grabbed her. "William, this is entirely my fault, if it is someone you should punish, it's me!"
William turned and saw the evaluative glance at Helena.
"As you wish. We execute both of you. "He said and walked away. Helena looked despairingly at Jack as the guards dragged down to the dungeons. Self she was trapped in her room where she sat crying in the window.
That night was the longest Helena ever experienced. She trembled for tomorrow, and thought of the wonderful life she and Jack would have had. When dawn came, the guards dragged her and Jack to a trolley that would take them into the nearest village where they would be hanged.
Jack looked at Helena who almost trembled with fear. He sat beside her and held her.
"Forgive me," he said sadly. "This is all my fault. But I want you to know that having met you is the best thing that ever happened to me. "
Helena looked into Jack's eyes and felt the fear left her body.
"It does not matter." She said and tried to smile. "The little time we had together was the most wonderful time I had." The carriage stopped and the guards led up Jack and Helena to the gallows. The executioner began by putting the noose around Jack's neck and tighten the noose. Almost all the inhabitants of the village had gathered at the square to see the king's wife and her secret lover hanged. King himself sat at the back of a podium along with some other important and noble people. No one said anything, everyone looked sadly at the two lovers who would be hanged. It was just William looked empty on both of them. Helena struggled even to when the executioner came noose around his own neck. Instead, she looked at Jack looked over the crowd. When the executioner went off to pull the lever saw Jack deep into Helena's eyes. He smiled and reached for Helena's hand.
"I love you," he said. A single tear ran down Helena's cheek and she attempted a smile.
"I love you too," she said, trying to keep his voice steady. She wanted to be as brave as Jack, he stood there unmoved and prepared to face his death only because he loved her. He would die just to have fallen in love with the wrong woman. William saw the Executioner and nodded. Helena took a deep breath and squeezed harder on Jack's hand and tried to keep eye contact with him. Then she suddenly felt the door during her feet fell down and the last thing she saw in this life was the life left her beloved Jack's eyes.
Sophie Söderholmbased on 13 ratings Love of life and death,