Ximene Trencavel – 17th September 1355
Ximene knew it was a crisis. And in the same instant, she experienced a crisis of her own. She realised John could not see what she could see.
For her plans John’s ambitions were too modest, his vision too limited.
She did not feel let down, not anger, not pity. Nevertheless, she realised her vision for the future would have to be amended. She would have to allow time for John to grow. He had the potential but he did not realise he had the potential. She had a vision but it was too early to share that vision.
She took his head in her arms.‘John please try, you are capable of almost anything if you try.’
John responded well. The days passed full of hard work and satisfaction. There was no sense of the passage of time, it was if they were in eternity. From day to day their skills developed. As they transferred skills and knowledge from one to the other their attachment grew. The crisis seemed to have past. It became one of those happy circumstances in which both partners in a relationship find everything they ever expected in their partner. Ximene slowly regained confidence that John could become part of her vision.
When John was studying Ximene would stroke his shoulders , enough for him to feel her support but not enough to distract him. She took to sitting on his lap, simply to be as close as she could. She helped John document his training regimes and record the relationship between weight, repetition and improvements in strength and stamina. With attachment came increasing dependency, and from dependency came the slow regrowth of more conventional love.
However, perhaps inevitably, with love came fears. Slowly, ever so slowly, Ximene felt tensions develop. She thought more and more often about the future. She felt fear of separation and a desire for each moment to last forever.
She senses from John’s demeanour that he was having similar feelings.
Ximene decided the time had come to share her vision, or at least part of it, come what may. ‘I told you at Monsegur I probably would not marry the Prince. Don Fernandino is still advising me that it is what I should do, but I am going to reject his advice. However, I want to find a way to refuse the Prince in such a way that it will actually help him to marry Joan.’
John’s face lit up.‘Is that what you want, is that what he wants?’
‘Yes, I believe the answer to both those questions is yes.’
‘So you have no intention of becoming my queen?’
Ximene took a deep breath. ‘I will not be Queen of England, but there are other options.’
John gazed into her eyes. ‘How would they effect me?.’
‘I will always need someone with your courage and contacts to support me and of course, there might just be… another senior position available.’
John’s eyes rolled but he smiled broadly. Ximene saw a weight lift from his shoulders.
That night he took the initiative in the seduction process. He told her to lie with her hands stretched out above he head as he caressed her body. When she moved her hands as the pleasure became too intense he scolded her.
“Do as you are told or would you rather me tie you to the bed?
Ximene was not sure that was what she wanted but she giggled delightedly.
At last, he feels himself to be my equal. It was seeing me as his future queen, which inhibited him. Now he is free of that! But he still does not understand the way we must live our lives and he is not yet ready to share the total concept.
Quite deliberately she dropped her hands and pretended to cover herself. It took nearly ten minutes of playful fighting, but eventually, she was firmly tied to the bed. She rather enjoyed the experience.
On a beautiful Autumn day, filled with sunshine, blue skies, the smell of wildflowers and the sounds of birds singing, they strolled through their valley. The premonitions suddenly returned
Where was Don Fernandino? Two months had elapsed. What on earth was happening in Bordeaux?