5 Undying Love

John Stanley-1st September 1366

John had given up pulling against his chains.  He thought he heard  someone giving orders. Suddenly the door burst open. Several guards entered the room. The light from their torches dazzled John momentarily. They were thrust into wall holders all round the room until the room was fully illuminated. His eyes recovered. More guards entered dragging Ximene behind them. Her hands were chained behind her neck and she was being pulled behind the guards by additional chains around her waist.
The guards chained Ximene to the wall facing John. Once again she and John had the opportunity to look into each other’s eyes but in vastly different circumstances.

Clearly Ximene had not been brought here directly from the garden. The delay may have been due to some preliminary questioning. She had been given no chance to don alternative clothing and was as he had last seen her, virtually naked. John was amazed to find that even in these circumstances he was still able to appreciate Ximene’s beauty.

The guards paid great attention to pulling the chains which held Ximene to the wall extremely tight so that her arms and legs were spread-eagled. The guards laughed amongst themselves and one reached out and fondled her naked breast. Without hesitation she spat at him.

The jailer snapped out a question at her.

‘This is the man to whom you gave your favour at the tournament. How long have you known this man? How long has he been your lover?”
She replied with total defiance “I have known him for ever, I have loved him for ever.’

This was obviously a totally unacceptable answer to the jailer. He produced a whip. He slashed it deliberately across Ximene’s breasts. As he pulled the whip away there were lines of blood on her beautiful body. Ximene’s head jerked backwards and she moaned gently.

John screamed,’Leave her alone, kill me if you must but leave her alone.’

The guard snarled at John and then turned back to Ximene.’Your punishment will be to watch your lover die before your eyes, but he must suffer too. His punishment will be to watch as we torture you in front of his eyes.’

John shouted again, “but she is innocent, she has done nothing.’

The guard who had applied the whip sneered over his shoulder.
‘It does not matter, we know she is guilty. If she has not loved you physically then she has loved you in her mind. It is enough.’

John could only stare in horror, was this how it all would end? In his anguish John screamed out his undying love for Ximene. Time seemed to stop. He could not help remembering the circumstances which had first made him aware of the existance of Ximene Trencavel.

The words rang in his head. “She is the most dangerous woman in the world”

John pushed the memories out of his mind and pulled vigorously against his chains. He forced himself to look at Ximene, now chained to the wall in front of him and about to suffer unthinkable torture. Nothing had changed except the desperation of the circumstances and the fact that he was deeply in love with her.
He shouted his commitment and his defiance.

‘Ximene I will die proclaiming my love for you. If I die simply for loving you then so be it. I will not regard my life to be wasted!

The prison guard turned towards John and raised his whip.

John flinched in anticipation.

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History


Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.