*Should have been posted in July and I totally forgot sorry*
It was the morning of what should have been the happiest day of Hortense's life....
Miss Fiona was frantically, but skilfully, adding the finishing touches to the veil and dress...
"My goodness...that was a close call" she sighed as she snipped off the last silken threads.
With time to spare Hortense was dressed in her beautifully woven finest.
Meanwhile, Horatio was seated by the window of his room, clutching the diamond encrusted bracelet he had commissioned on his last voyage for just this day. *rabbits and Hares struggle to wear rings*
Hortense had gone for a walk in the garden to compose herself before the celebrations began...
this was when things took a hideous turn!!
Simeon Whyte stepped out from behind the Monbretia.
"My dearest Hortense..." he crooned, "why are you doing this to me?"
" I don't understand your meaning sir" was her curt response.
"Why are you agreeing to marry Horatio, when you know you belong to me?"
"BELONG to YOU!" Hortense almost squealed, such was her amazement at his words.
" Yes" retorted Simeon, " Remember this ?"
He held out his pocket watch, in the back of which was enclosed a collection of forget-me-not flowers.
"You gave me this as a symbol of our love...before Harriet arrived". His speech now held more than a suggestion of a threat.
"Call off the wedding right now, or I will have to have a little chat with Horatio...and maybe Her Maj too?"
Hortense was distraught, she had no intention of marrying Simeon. The gift was given in the flush of youth. To be honest, she had forgotten all about it, such was her love for Horatio.
As she sat, dumbfounded by the events, Her Majesty the Queen came looking for her.
"What on earth are you doing here? You should be greeting your guests!"
"Hortense?....Are you crying?"
Hortense totally broke down, blurting out the secret that she had kept for so long,
"Simeon IS Harriet's father!!!!....I knew it! The Ace of Clubs owes me £5 HA!"
Not quite the response Hortense was expecting.
"Now stop being silly, go inside and wash your face, Horatio is waiting for you...and don't worry about Simeon. What is the use of being besties with the Queen if you can't tust her to help you out occasionally?"
Simeon wasn't quite so pleased to be in Her Maj's company as he had expected to be...
in fact, after there "little chat", he made his excuses and left the area...much faster than anyone had seen him move in many a year.
As for Hortense and Horatio...
they were married amongst the last roses of the year...
their love for each other clearly visible for all to see.
Horatio said he was the happiest Hare in the land...
but I think we know that Hortense feels doubly blessed :D