Misalliances, chapter 2
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( This chapter is not the original one, the sex scene is removed. The original version is on my blog )

The next day, Tescelin was invited to a tournament in a neighboring lordship, he declined the invitation. He had never missed a tournament
before. He preferred going into the inn to see Eléonore. The girl was waiting in the yard. They talked for hours, forgetting their respective problems.

The days went by, Eléonore and Tescelin spent more and more time together, the young Count refused many invitations because he wanted
to be with her. Soon the two young people could not hide their respective feelings anymore. They wanted to get married. Tescelin went to Sarlat
with Eléonore, he wanted to meet her father and to ask her hand in marriage. Pierre agreed, the shoemaker he had chosen for his daughter was
a womanizer; a young bourgeois from Sarlat was pregnant with his child.Someone had seen him having sex with a prostitute.

Eléonore couldn’t stay at the inn, he invited her to reside at the castle.

"Who is this girl?” Gaston inquired.
“Let me introduce you Eléonore Thomassin, my future fiancée.”
“Your future fiancée! But she is not noble!”
"I know it, she has no title, but she is endowed with the nobility of the soul, which will make her a perfect wife.”
“You know that you have to choose a wife from your rank.”

“I don’t care of the rank.”
“But you have to think of what the nobles are going to think about this!”
“And so what? I’m in love with Eléonore, and that’s the most important.”
“But Sir! You have to realize the nobilily is going make fun of you! You must marry a noble lady.”
“Good for them! Eléonore will become a noble lady by marrying me! I do what I want! Need I remind you that you are working for me!” Tescelin shouted.

A few days later, Tescelin and Eléonore went for a ride in the countryside, he wanted to show her a place that was important to him. They stopped
in front of a small castle built with yellow stones.

"What place is this?” Eléonore asked.
“This castle belongs to us, my grandfather bought it for my grandmother because she disliked the hustle and bustle of the city.”
“It's a beautiful and soothing place,” the girl said.
“We’re going to marry here."

The announcement of the Count's engagement with Eléonore made some waves among the nobility of the region, some of them perceived this
union as a misalliance.

At the end of the summer of 1176, they got married, only a few guests were here, but it didn’t matter, their love was the only important thing.

( missing scene )


A year later
Unlike Hodierne, Eléonore was loved by the servants, they did not fear her, she never shouted at them, she respected them. Life was
returning to Castelmirail Castle.

Tescelin was looking for his wife, he was worried for her, and for some time he had noticed that she seemed worried. He found her in the
little garden, and he studied his wife's face s. Her smile was gone.

He approached her and took her face in his hands.
"You’re looking sad, what's going on?”
Eléonore's green eyes were full of tears.
“We have been married for a year and we don’t have our first child.”
“Do not worry about that, a year of marriage is not very long. I am sure that in a year or two we will have a child. My parents had been married
for seven years when I was born,” He reassured her.
It gave hope to the young lady.

Five years later the couple still had no child. Eléonore was deeply unhappy.
A strange red-haired woman in her early thirties introduced herself and asked for a private audience with the Countess. She wanted to talk to her
about something important.
Eléonore agreed to receive the young woman the next day at the castle outside the city. The mysterious young woman was named Romelde Mainville.

They went in the small ballroom and sat down
"Lady Eléonore, I hope I don’t bother you”
“No, you do not bother me. What do you want to tell to me?”
“Madam, I know you are tormented, I can help you.”
“Eléonore looked at the young woman, she was surprised.”
“What worries are you talking about?” The Countess asked.

Romelde looked at her with kindness.
"I know you’re sad because you still don’t have children. It saddens me to see you so sad, any woman who desires it should be able to have a child
to cherish. I can help you to get that baby you want so much.”

Eléonore was more and more surprised.
“You want to help me have a child? But how? I do not believe in spells or magic potions, these are twaddle.”
“No, it's not that at all. I can find you an orphaned or abandoned baby for hundred gold écus.”

“You mean to take under our wing an infant who has no family? But it’s maybe little early to consider adopting a child?”
“You’ve been married for six years and you don’t have children, this is worrying.”
“Perhaps I should first discuss all of this with my husband, it is not a decision that I can take alone.”
“No! Your husband mustn’t be aware of all this,” the young red-haired woman insisted.
“But how is possible? I cannot decently adopt a newborn without talking about it with the Count before!”

“He will have to believe that this child is his.”
“What! But it's impossible! Are you crazy?” Eléonore snapped.

“It's very easy, you’ll said to everyone you’re pregnant. During that fake pregnancy, you’ll put more and more cloth or bigger and bigger
cushion under your dress. You’ll tell your spouse that your pregnancy is fragile and he shouldn’t touch you anymore. You’ll sleep alone in a room.
In seven or eight months you’ll tell him that the baby is coming. A woman I know will come to the castle as a midwife. She will have a basket in
which a newborn will be hidden. You’ll have to tell to everyone he or she is your baby.”

Eléonore stood up and glared at her interlocutor.
“How can you suggest me that! It's dishonest and ridiculous! I will never do that! Now get out of here!”

Romelde's face was now contemptuous, she stared at the young Countess.
“You're just an idiot! You’ll have only yourself to blame when you’re repudiated.”
“Now get out of my sight and never come back, otherwise you’ll be in a deep trouble!” Eléonore shouted.
The young, red-haired woman left the room while smirking at the Countess.

At the castle, Eléonore wanted to talk to her husband, she found him in the ballroom. He noticed immediately her trouble, he was worried.
"What’s wrong?”
“It’s because of this woman who wanted a private audience, Romelde Mainville.
“What has happened?”
“This young woman was at first compassionate, she understood my pain of not having children. She said she wanted to help me to get a
newborn baby.”
Tescelin frowned.
“What do you mean?”
“I thought she wanted us to adopt an abandoned or orphaned baby. In fact it wasn’t that at all, wanted me to make everyone, you included
believe that I was with child by putting cloth under my dress. At the supposed due date, she would have sent a midwife with a newborn hidden in a basket.
I would have to tell you it was our infant. Of course I said no. I want a child with you.”

Tescelin was shocked by what his wife had revealed to him. He took her in his arms and hugged her.
“I dare not imagine what you felt.”
“It was horrible, at first she was kind, but when I declined her offer and I asked her to leave she was cruel and told you would repudiate me because
I did not give you this heir.”
“This woman tells whatever, I will never repudiate you. What was her purpose?”
“I think she wanted to take advantage of our misfortune to extract money, she told me she would find me a baby for hundred gold écus.
I did not know this woman, I had never seen her before,” Eléonore concluded.

This mysterious woman was sought in the lordship, they didn’t find her.

Ten years went by, there was still no heir. This saddened the Countess, she thought she was not good enough for her husband, she had to talk to him privately.
"I’m not a good wife, I didn’t give you the child you wanted so much. I deserve repudiation."
Tescelin gave her a look full of terror.
“You don’t think it, I hope! I will never accept that!”
“We have been married for sixteen years and we don’t have children.”
“I will not repudiate you because I love you, whether we have a child or not. If in ten years we still do not have child, we will adopt a baby he will be our heir.”

May 1200

Eléonore was close to her forty-third birthday, she had lost all hope of having children. The Count was still hoping. The Duchess of Puytargues had given birth to her first child at the age of forty-five after thirty years of marriage.

Tescelin was worried, he noticed his wife did not look healthy. The young woman had little appetite and suffered from stomach cramps and had nausea and she was tired.

"I’m worried, you were sick again this morning.”
“Don’t worry, I feel much better.”
“But you’ve been sick and tired for days!”
“I’m convinced it's nothing, I'm not very young anymore.”
“I'm afraid of losing you.”
“You will not lose me."

A few days later while she was in the garden, Eleonore had an ill and she fainted.

Octavie Desclets found her. The Countess was installed in the room. The physicist Azalais Labonté was sent for. Tescelin expressed his concern
to the young woman.
"My wife has been sick for days, her stomach hurts, she has nausea, she is tired.”
“Does it last all day?” The blonde doctor asked.
“No it last a few minutes, and she feels better. I thought it was food, but I’m not sick, is it serious?”
"I do not think she's seriously ill, and I think it's normal that you don’t have those symptoms.”

The physicist went to examine the Countess and came out of the room half an hour later.
“Is she very sick?” Tescelin asked.
The young woman smiled at him.
“Your wife is not sick.”
He frowned.
“But why does she feel so bad?”
“It is quite normal to have these symptoms in her condition, all the women in her condition feel like this.”
Tescelin's face lit up.
“You mean she's going to have a child?”
“Yes, in .... "

The Count did not wait for Azalais to finish her sentence, he rushed into the room. His wife was standing, he took her in his arms, and they had tears in their eyes.

"I'm not sick, I'm pregnant, at the end of November our baby will be here.”
“You had not suspected anything?”
“I thought I could be with child, but considering my age it seemed improbable.”
“The Duchess of Puytargues was older than you at the birth of her child.”
“I know it, but I have been told that it wasn’t her first pregnancy, alas she had five miscarriages. In my case it’s my first pregnancy in twenty
four years of marriage.”
“Stop talking about that, the important thing is that we are going to have a child."

Most of the inhabitants of the Lordship were happy at the announcement of this pregnancy. But some very mean women spread the rumor the Count wasn’t the baby’s father. The seneschal warned Eléonore and Tescelin of what was happening. They knew about this rumor, but they decided to ignore it. These women were jealous of the Countess.

The Countess's pregnancy was going well, the morning sickness disappeared, now she had back pain. Eléonore was very comfortable with it, it was less disagreeable than stomach pain. The Count was very present for his wife; he declined all the invitations to tournaments and hunting parties in the neighboring seigniories.

Summer was close to the end, and the weather was cooler. Eleonore was close to the seventh month of pregnancy, she was worried,
she was thinking the premature birth and death of her son. She explained it to her husband.
"I'm afraid of losing our baby.”
"But why would you lose our child?”
“My son was born at seven months of pregnancy and died shortly after. I’m afraid to give birth prematurely and then the baby might not make it.”
“It will not happen, your first child was born too early because of these bandits who attacked you. Our baby will arrive at the end of November and he will be healthy.”
"I hope he or she will be in good health,” The Countess said.
“Perhaps you should run around the church three times while reciting three prayers, then make a hole in the ground with your shoe heel. Three days later you go back to see, if the hole is closed it will be a girl, if it’s still open it will be a boy.”

Eléonore burst out laughing.
"Don’t tell me that you believe in such a nonsense!”
“No, of course! I was joking, boy or girl, I’ll be happy. I wish so much a little girl with your dark hair and your emerald eyes, or a little red haired boy with my green eyes."

One afternoon in late November, Eléonore’s water broke, a servant went to fetch the midwife. The Countess was terrified, Anne reassured
her. At nightfall, the cry of a newborn was heard.

Peasants who were preparing for supper heard the bell ring at dusk.
"Why is the bell ringing?” The child asked.
“The heir of Castelmirail might be born, in town, some people told that the Countess was about to give birth. I’m happy for them.” The mother replied.

On November 23rd 1200 Emma De Brisay de Castelmirail, the heiress of the lordship was born.

To be continued.

A poll about the story here: https://fr.surveymonkey.com/r/GWGC9YV
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