38The Performance

‘Tell me Agnes, are you happy with Gaston.’

‘I think you know that I am not it is just such hard work. When I was at Foix I thought just for a moment there was a chance, but I was fooling myself.’

What happened?

He gets obsessed with other things. He just can’t relax long enough to enjoy my company.

‘I have heard from her grandmother that one of his obsessions might well be Ximene Trencavel.’

‘Quite possibly. Is she intereted? If you get the chance, warn her off. It would be no different with her than it has been with me.’

‘Tell me more.’

‘In many ways he is brilliant. Great vision, an almost endless stream of ideas, but almost all compromised by the fact that he is totally self centred.’

‘And you are not compromised in this judgement by your own self interests?’

‘No. When I was at Foix, I can remember giving Ximene a lecture that both love and to a certain extent sexual activity is actually just a special, inspired form of giving. Giving love strengthens your body and pleases the spirit in that body.and that arranged marriages give a special opportunity to practice that giving.’

‘So what made you change your mind?’

‘I am trapped between two men. My brother Charles is almost the same; brilliant but obsessive, selfish, inconsiderate.’

‘And they are now working together to carve up the Frankish kingdom?’

‘Yes that is the latest obsession. whether they can accomodate each others ambitions is another issue, but why are you asking these questions?’

‘Because I have a surprise for you.’

Joan guided Agnes down a series of corridors which led to a small lounge heated by a huge fireplace. There were two luxurious couches situated one either side of the fire and on the couch facind the door to the lounge was seated Guillame de Marchaut.

Agnes ran from the door and threw herself on top of Guillame. She rained kisses on him before turning to look at Joan. ‘ What? How? Why?’

Well I may be accused of being too optimistic but I have decided that Guillame would be the ideal person to write the music for my marriage to the Prince. I wanted a mixture of spiritual and martial music which he does so well. He was supposed to meet me in Bordeaux but I left a message instructing him to come here.

‘Did you know I had a relationship with him?’

‘Doesn’t everone? I needed some company and I knew you wanted to get away for some time together.’

Joan watched as they melted into each others arms. ‘Seems I was right’

Later in the week , when Joan felt  they were comfortable in their relationship,  she asked them to assist her in one of her own projects.


The most dangerous woman in the world

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