Dearest love, the gardener of my soul,

By the time you read this, I will be well on my way to Versailles with Durante and Alain at my side. Fear not for me, beloved, but pray for the souls of any outlaws foolish enough to think they might keep me from you. It seems even the very heavens wish to speed us along our course, for the morning is bright and not a cloud floats in the sky.

My love, my brightness, my heart's treasure: even as I sit here in my study, waiting for Guillaume to finish with the packing, I can think of nought else but you. My reluctance to depart is nearly strong enough to delay my trip, but I fear the wrath of Versailles were I to do so. Piotr would have my head; you know full well how he gets when inconvienced.

Since I could not tarry to see you home safely, I have left a surprise for you in the gardens. You need only ask Guillaume to show you the way. I realize it's hardly a suitable replacement for your dear prince, but it should at least ease the pain of distance until I may return to your arms.

I can hear Guillaume stomping up the back stairs this very moment. Forgive me that I could not write more, beloved. Wish me luck in Versailles, and with your love and hope lighting my way I shall return with a fortnight.

All my love and affection,
Bayard






Dearest,

Not half a day have you been gone and already I feel the waves of your absence washing me down into awareness. Guillaume was profoundly asleep by when I arrived back to our now gelid home. Just now did I realize it is so white, so large. It seems as if the walls are yelling that you are not with me.

I intended to light a fire in the chimney to assist me through the night, and in my unattention I almost burnt the beautiful garments your mother gifted me with! Love, it is that you know me and my scattered mind so well that had you been here, you would have already been leaping forward behind me, knowing well I am not meant to be handling such perilous elements.

My dear, I cannot wait another second for your surprise! But I must be kind; Guillaume is old, and tired, and his sleep is precious. I surmise it must be another one of those puzzles you are so fond of inflicting upon me.

It is such luck of mine to be so in love with your words that this letter shall, however insufficiently, keep me accompanied for the rest of the evening.

I beg of you to ignore your usual impulsive whims, and take caution. Remember you are responsible for two hearts.

Always yours, forever yours,
Xaveria

after

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