1.57.2: Soft, Lovely, Gentle, Kind

Is it possible for someone with a dark and ruthless reputation to actually have a heart? Beneath the hardness of heart there lies a not so easily exposed place where only the most tenacious and patient can gain access to it.

I understood him.

I did because I was intrigued by how a man of such ill reputation could so easily traverse the corridors of nobility. He was not always twisted and cruel. He was born to privilege, raised a Count, and yet he had a gentle heart that was generous and loving. His mother and sister knew of these virtues all of their lives, and I know in that in his darkest years he was ever-glad that neither of them had lived to see what he would become. I know that it was because of his gentleness, because of that soft and vulnerable place inside of him being crushed, that he became what he was.

Genevieve Soliel was the first wife of my husband – the man whose widow I am now. She was Sebastien’s light with the surname of Soliel, indeed, in his world, she shone like the sun and warmed his heart more than he could never have imagined was possible. It was at La Rochelle when Louis laid siege to the town. The Comtesse de Rochefort, Genevieve, had gone to visit her family there to bring them the tidings of the good fortune of the child that she expected to bear to Sebastien. He rode like a madman when he had gotten word, he would stop this affront. Was he not a loyal subject of France and of the King? He knew that he could get her out of that besieged town. He knew of several ways, he had money for bribes, allies at the ready to rescue her and he would see his plan through. But the king’s own soldiers denied him entry to La Rochelle in order to save Genevieve and her family. And in one failed attempt, Sebastien was sent away under heavy guard. No one, no information, no food nor water would be allowed to get through. No information could be allowed to get through. It did not matter that the Comtesse’ was a gentle lady, a loyal follower of the Mother Church. All were guilty merely by association with the Huguenots. The inhabitants were left to starve, to die horrible deaths. His heart became a smouldering stone of rage, and he swore revenge upon all Bourbons and Medici’s. His betrayals of king and brother alike were only means to an end, devices by which he could achieve those ends. To those around him, The Comte de Rochefort, Sebastien, no longer existed. I must confess, if it had been me, I would have done no differently, and I know of very few who would.

When I met him, he was an enforcer for Cardinal Richelieu; a position that allowed him to readily feast upon the pain of others. At one point I thought that I myself would be sent to the dungeons or to the Bastille for interrogation, and yet the answers that I gave must have stayed his hand that night. From that moment onward, we readily shared thoughts and conversation in every imaginable way. No one would or could believe that such a man had such a loving, lovely kind and gentle soul at his core. I do not mind that few understood, or ever really tried to. Some things can only be conveyed in a glance or the softest of touches. He gave to me more in the few short years that we were together than anyone else had ever given me in several lifetimes. I will only note this; that someone cannot give what does not exist inside of them in the first place. And for me, Sebastien was all of these things and more.

Muse: Fanny Fae
Fandom: Original Character
Word Count: 627
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