After watching Willow ride off, Arthur's heart began to sink, pounding in his chest. He hurried back into the castle pushing past the guards that tried to get out of his way, but almost knocked them down in the process.
Running up to his room, slamming the door behind him he walked over to his bed, laying down he covering his face to hide the tears that ran down his cheeks. "Lady Molly carefully opened the door, "Arthur, are you alright?" she asked. "Yes, I just need to be left alone for a while," he told her. "Ok I will give orders that no one is to disturber you," she replied shutting the door.
After several hours of crying, Arthur fell asleep curled up on the bed. Dinner time came and no one bothered him, they knew he was tore up about the whole situation, so they gave him space.
Day after day, he found himself sitting alone in the barn away from everyone. Trying to think of a way to have Willow back in his arms again. He pondered on what she had said to him before she left. "I could take her away, where no one could find us," he thought to himself. He knew he was only kidding himself, knowing he wouldn't make it far, her fathers guards would find them as well as his grandmothers.
There would be no where they could hide. He knew she would be better off marrying some foreign prince, than to spend a lonely life with him on the run.
"We have to do something, hes falling into a depression that can't go on much longer," William told Kristen. "Yes, I have noticed as well, I have done some searching for a beautiful and nice princess to betroth him to. This is the only way he will get over Willow, and I think I might have found one for him," she told him. "I'll be meeting with her later, her father has already agreed to the arrangement. If I'm pleased with her, we can arrange for her belongings to be brought, and set her up with her own chambers," she told William. "Wonderful, I do hope he likes her, you know how I hate arranged marriages, but in this case I think we don't have much of a choice. It's like looking at James again, hes got so much of his father in him," he replied.
Kristen requested Arthur to have dinner with her in her private chambers, so she could speak to him in peace about some important matters. "I have some good news for you," she told Arthur that sat there uninterested in what Kristen had just told him."I have betrothed you to Princess Lillian, me and her father think you will make a good match. Shes beautiful and very kind," she told Arthur.
Annoyed with Arthur's behavior her attitude changed to anger. "I don't want to marry her," he told his grandmother. "You will marry! You will love her as your new wife, she will be here within a week or more. You will have to forget Willow and move on with your life, this I'm not asking, I'm demanding you to do. I will not be made to look like a fool, especially from my own grandson," she told him. Arthur knew not to push his grandmother to far, knowing she could be quite mean. "As you wish, may I be excused?" he asked. "Yes, go and prepare," she replied.
Arthur went to his room, pulling out a piece of paper and his quell. He stared at it pondering on what to even write, "Should I pore my heart out, tell her, tell her I'm lost without her, or wish her well and move on?" he asked himself. After sitting there almost a hour, he decided that it would be best to wish her well and move on. He dipped his pen into the ink and began to write,
"My dearest Willow, I hope your trip was pleasant, it was nice to see you again. I hope you and your family are well. I want to congratulate you on your betrothal and wish you well with him. I don't want you to be sad or upset, you will always be special to me. But I see it is best that we do part and do as they tell us. I bid you farewell. Arthur," he signed his name.
Pushing the note aside and letting the pen fall, he stepped away from his desk with tears streaming down his face. He folded it, took the candle poring wax to seal it and placed his ring into it to mark it. He then give it to the messenger to send to Willow.
Princess Lillian had just arrived at the castle and was taken to meet with Kristen in private. Princess Lillian, I take it that your trip went well. Prince Arthur will be joining us soon," Kristen told Princess Lillian. "My trip was fine, my father told me a lot about Prince Arthur, how handsome and kind mannered he is, she told Kristen smiling. Kristen was very pleased with Lillian who was more beautiful than her picture or description. The more she talked with Lillian the more she was sure that she was doing the right thing on betrothing Arthur to her. She had told Arthur that they were betrothed but hadn't really decided until now.
"Yes hes a very handsome, young man. I think you will be happy to meet him," she told Lillian. I have sent a servant to get him, he should be arriving anytime," she told Lillian.
Arthur came into the room where he had been summoned. Walked over to his Grandparents and a very pretty girl. He figured it was Princess Lillian that his Grandmother told him about. He put on a fake smile and walked over to them. "This is Prince Arthur, this is Princess Lillian," she announced.
Being a gentlemen, Arthur bowed taking Princess Lillian's hand, kissing it. "It's a pleasure," he told her.
This made Kristen really happy, he rose to his feet to only meet her stunning brown eyes. He looked away quickly, staring at his grandmother for further instructions on what she wanted him to do.
Kristen didn't say anything so Arthur too the opportunity to escape. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Princess Lillian, I must head out, I am going on a hunting trip," he bowed, then headed out of the room.
"Did I offend him in some way?" Princess Lillian asked Kristen.
"Not at all, hes just still upset over his best friend having to go away, he will get over it in time," she replied to Lillian.
"My Maids will help you get situated in your new chambers," she told Lillian. Just follow her, I will talk to you more at dinner," Kristen told Lillian.
Lillian was showed to her new chambers, everything was of made of silk and special stitching, pillows with tassels on them. Drapes hung from the top of the bed setting its beauty off. She unpacked with the help of two servants. She stood in her room looking around, realizing this wasn't the greeting she had pictured, Lillian could only hope it would become better between her and Arthur.
If this was to be her new home she wanted to explore it a bit. It was a very beautiful day, she found a pond that had a wooden bridge that crossed it.
Leaning over the rail she looked down into the pond to see any fish swimming around. Her thoughts races with the new situation she was now faced with. She was already missing her home, friends and family, put in a strange kingdom to be married to a Prince she didn't even know, she was terrified.
A week passed while Lillian settled in, Arthur made himself absent for the most part. The messenger delivered him a letter with Willows seal on it. He took it to his room, setting down at his desk he slowly broke the seal. unfolding it he began to read.
"Arthur, I write to tell you that my trip was long but we are reached home safely, My family and I are doing well. I know this has to be hard on you as it is on me, but I agree it would be best for us to move on, we really don't have a choice. I'm already packed and will head out to his kingdom to live there until the wedding. This will be my last letter now that I have been betrothed. I have to devote myself to him now, and cause him no such jealousy, I hope you understand. I bid you farewell, lots of happiness and someone that will fill your heart with such love that I will become a fading memory," Signed Willow.
Arthur sat there now in shock, crumbling it up in his hand, he realized that running away was not a option anymore, he truly had lost her.