How do I go about telling a woman it is okay to sleep with my husband? That’s what I was trying to figure out. I couldn’t divorce him—after all, he was king, and while I loved him for being such a good man and taking care of me and our country, our marriage was always one of strategy, not passion. But, he was in love with Amy, one of my Ladies, and to be perfectly honest, as long as they didn’t flaunt it around, I had no issue with my husband and his love trying to pursue a relationship of their own. Martin had dropped his hints that he was interested, but Amy always stayed a safe distance away. I think major part of that is out of respect for me—because I’ve seen the way she looks at him when he’s not watching. It’s not because she doesn’t want him.
So how was I supposed to tell Amy—No, it’s okay. Go ahead and sleep with my husband. It especially didn’t help that we never had a moment of privacy—someone was always watching over one of our shoulders. How could I hint to her what I thought when at any given moment there were ten or twelve women surrounding us, ready for any gossip that they could scoop up and spread to the rest of the court?
In the end, I opted for being sneaking. I waited until it was nearly pitch black dark in my rooms, the middle of the night or later. Amy—being one of the ladies that was prompted by the king himself, slept in one of the small rooms just off the queen’s main quarters, so it was easy for me to move quickly and quietly to her bed side.
Amy woke with a start, and I tried to hush her as best I could so she wouldn’t wake anyone else. “Lady Amy, I need to go to the altar of my family’s lady and I would like you to join me. Would you be willing?”
“I’ve done nothing wrong,” Amy insisted, and I felt a pang of sympathy. I hadn’t meant to scare her.
“No, no, I know you haven’t done anything wrong. I just want you to accompany me,” I reassured her. Amy didn’t look calmed, but she nodded and pulled on a dressing robe, follow me out of the room with careful slow footsteps.
We knelt in silence before the Altar of the Lady’s Family—the patron of love, hope, and doing the right thing. It was as suitable place as any to say this. I tried to think of a graceful way to say it, but ended up just coming right out with it. “if you want to be with Martin, that’s okay.”
Amy stared at me in the low light for a moment before whispering, “My Queen?”
“He loves you. And if you love him and want to be with him, then you have my blessing, as long as you assure me you will try to be discreet. If you don’t, speak now, and I’ll be sure that he never bothers you again.”
“But—My Queen—forgive me but he’s your husband. Your love.”
“He’s my husband, but he’s not my love. He’s my friend, but our marriage was never for love, but for appearances and for my protection. That is why I cannot leave him. But, he has confessed to me that he loves you, and I wanted to tell you that if you love him, please don’t allow me to stand in your way. I don’t want to deny you two anything.”
Even in the darkness, I could see a glimmer of hope. Amy looked confused and conflicted, but in the back of her eyes there was hope. “Are you ready to return to bed, Lady Amy?”
Amy swallowed hard, and in a soft voice said, “Yes, My Queen.”