An Unexpected Prince June, 1688 James was happy, his dynasty was secure, and he knew that with his son having just been born, he could rest easy. Oh, he knew there were those who would grumble and plot, but as long as he kept true, God would make sure that they didn’t do anything too rash or foolish. And so, he continued as he was. He had decided to go riding today for the simple reason that he needed the air. After spending the past two days with his wife, and ensuring that his daughter Anne had been present at the birth, and the stress that had come from that, he felt he needed it. He needed that break. James looked at John Churchill, the man who had become like a younger brother to him and smiled. They were riding through the park, and he knew that perhaps the time would come to return to Whitehall. St James, he’d chosen as the place for his son to be born because it held significance, and he knew it would be harder for Anne to beg off, as she might have done had he chosen Whitehall. That made him then turn to Churchill and ask. “How is your son, doing, John?” Churchill had had a son two years ago, named after himself, James thought it hilarious, no doubt it had been meant to fulfil his own ego. He thought that when the time was right the boy would be added to his son’s household. Churchill smiled. “He is well, Sire. He has begun talking somewhat properly, and is walking everywhere. We’ve had to ensure that some of our more delicate items are kept hidden away so he does not break them.” James laughed. “Oh, yes, they are wont to do that. We remember when Anne was a little girl, she was constantly roaming around picking things up and testing them. Half the time we were convinced she wanted to eat them.” John laughed. “Ah, so not much has changed then?” James snorted at that. It was true, his daughter had started eating a lot more as of late. He was beginning to wonder if perhaps she was with child. That might be a good thing. “So, tell us John, your wife is friends with our daughter. do you think she is with child?” The question seemed to throw John off for a moment, but then he said. “I think so, Sire. I think she and the Duke of Cumberland are waiting to see what happens in the next few months before they decide on a complete course of action.” James nodded, and felt a slight jolt as his horse went over a mole hill. “Of course, a smart decision.” His horse went another hill and he felt his shoulder jar. He groaned slightly. “Are you well, Sire?” John asked coming up near him. James waved him off. “We are fine, thank you, John. There are a lot of mole hills here, we will need to ask the keeper of the park to deal with them.” “Yes, quite right, Sire.” John said. They fell silent for a moment then, as they continued riding. James knew that he needed to have his son baptised into the true faith soon, of course cousin Louis would stand as a godfather, he might well ask John to stand as well, though perhaps a move to make peace between them, he should ask his nephew William to stand as a godfather also. Mary would like that. She was always going on about how he needed to do more to make amends with his nephew and son by marriage. William, Prince of Orange and the hope of the Dutch Republic. “Say, John,” James began, but before he could finish that sentence, his horse raised itself up quite high and came down with quite the thump. He groaned in pain as his already injured shoulder came out again, and then his horse went over another mole hill, or something worse, and as he leaned forward to calm it down, the horse went down. It happened too quickly for him to do anything about it. one moment he was trying to soothe his horse, the next he felt the complete weight of his horse on top of him. “Sire!” John cried out. He saw him try and come to aid him, but to no avail. Others came and they tried, but James could feel the horse pressing against him, he was in a lot of pain. Something sharp was pressing against his neck as well. He tried to move but couldn’t instead, he decided to close his eyes and see if that would ease the pain. He’d close his eyes and the in the morning speak with his son.