"Is that you?" A familiar voice rang out. Arthur turned around to see Willow coming around the corner.
"It's nice to see you here in France, me and my father are here on business," she began. "That's right, your father that ruined my life," he replied crossing his arms in frustration.
"Please don't be mad, I hated it too, you act like I never loved you," Willow replied. "I know, it tore me up. I wanted us to be together forever," he explained.
Trying to change the subject, "I hear your father returned. I can't believe he’s alive, after seeing him dead. It's a story that will be told for generations!" she replied with a smile. "It was a shock to everyone, even my grandma which seems to still be in denial. I'm here with my mom and dad. They wanted to take me here on vacation to get caught up on all the time that we were separated," he told Willow.
Willow stepped a little closer. "So you are here without your betrothed?" she asked. "Yes, she’s back at the castle with my sister and her friend, Nolan. I think they are secretly in love, but they are not letting that one out right now," he replied. Stepping just inches from him, she could see that he was getting nervous.
"What are you doing?" he asked. She looked at him with intensity burning in her eyes. "I have missed you so much. I have never stopped loving you. I only wrote that letter to try to convince myself that I wasn't in love with you. I didn't want you to hurt like I did. I always wanted you to be happy," she told him.
"Oh Willow, I know that you still care, I still care about you, but the matter still remains. You are still betrothed as well as me. We are promised to others, we can’t do this." he told her as he stroked her cheek.
"Please don't take this moment from me, I have longed for your touch. They will never need to know. She held his hand to her face as her hazel eyes meet his. Arthur stood there his heart racing. He wanted her as much as he could see that she wanted him. He stood there frozen in time. It was only them that existed in their world.
He pulled her into his arms. He took her face into his hands, pulling her lips to meet his. As he kissed her, he twirled his fingers into her hair. Her kiss was intoxicating! He didn't realize how much he truly missed her!
Pulling away, he had to regain himself. "I can't do this, I'm to be married this week, and well you are to be married as well." he told her. She could see the pain in his eyes as he stepped back from her. "He’s horrible, he’s so mean to me, and we are not even married yet! He even slapped me once because I spoke out of turn when he was with his friends, she paused...........”And he threatens to do worse if I tell anyone!” she explained to Arthur. Willow could see the hurt and anger that was building up on Arthur’s face. "You need to tell your father, or someone. He can’t do that to you, you’re too sweet." he told her. "I will take care of him if you want me to?" he asked. Willow with tears welding in her eyes stepped closer to him. "He will never be you," and I regret not running away with you when you asked to," she told him.
"I must be getting back before my father sends a search party after me, will you walk with me back to town?" she asked. "It would be my pleasure," he replied with a smile. Arthur followed behind Willow deep in thought with all that just happened. He was still in shock that she still loved him, and that her betrothed was that mean to her.
What are you doing here?" he asked. "I had some more time to spare. My father won’t be back around until tomorrow evening and I wanted to see you again," she told him.
Willow pulled Arthur close to her. "I don't think you get what I was saying earlier," he told Willow as he pulled away.
Willow was so angry that she couldn't help but turn and yell at Arthur. "Why! Why would you want to stay with her when you could be with me?" she shouted. "You don't understand," he tried to get out. "I do understand, you are not happy and I'm not happy. We could be happy and still be with each other," she told him.
"Please stop, you’re not listening to me. I'm not unhappy, Lillian is a very sweet girl, she cares about me, and well I care about her, I think I might be falling for her. It only seems right since she will be my wife in a week. I know I asked you to run away with me when they tore us apart, but you chose not to. So I was left alone. I have moved on." he told her. "You, you love her, and not me? I knew I shouldn't have come here. I was so wrong about you!" she shouted.
Willow turned to storm off but Arthur caught her by her waist to stop her.
"Stop!" he shouted as he held on to her as she tried to pull away.
Still trying to get away from Arthur's grasp, Arthur spun her around backing her up to the table. Pushing her onto the table so she would not be able to fight against him, he had to get her full attention.
"You think you know everything, every time I look at you my heart gets ripped out of my chest, I see what I want but can't have. You have no idea what I went through when you left, how many nights I cried myself to sleep, how I didn't eat. My grandmother did what she thought was best. She brought Lillian to court to try to save me from the purgatory I was living in. Then I got your letter, and that even crushed me more. All my hopes and dreams crushed. So don't pretend that you know me, that you know what I went through, that I didn't care," he told her.
After releasing Willow, Arthur walked over and stood in the doorway. Willow finally walked over to where he was standing. "I never meant it that way. I guess I'm so jealous that someone has you, and I don't. I know what it’s like, I too cried myself to sleep. I tried to talk my father into letting me be with you. But he wouldn't. He’s scared of your grandmother. That's why he wouldn't let us be together. He doesn't want to lose me. She did execute your father’s first wife," she replied to him.
Arthur's eyes got wide as he stared at Willow in shock. "What are you talking about, he wasn't married before," he told Willow. "Yes he was, she cheated on him with a stable boy and got pregnant. Trying to claim it was his, when in fact he was in love with your mother. She found out about the affair and put the girl, her lover and mother to death." she told Arthur. He was now angry, not at Willow but what she was telling him.
Turning around to walk away, he felt Willow's arms wrap around him. Resting her head on his back he could hear her as she began to cry. "I'm sorry." she whispered. "I never meant to hurt you again. I just want you so bad. I want to be the one that's with you. I want to be the one walking down the aisle to marry you in a week. It's just not fair. Please forgive me!" she begged as she began to sob.
I don't hate you, I love you," Arthur told Willow as she pushed him down on the bed. "I love you, I want to be with you," she whispered to him as she pressed her lips to his.
That's all it took for Arthur to grab Willow. He brought her around throwing her onto the bed gently. Pulling her close, he kissed her lips as he began to undo her dress.
Looking down at Willow, he was mesmerized by her beauty. Running his fingers over her soft skin, he could see her begin to tremble.
"You’re my world, the air that I breathe. I don’t know what to do with you!" he told her as he brushed her lips with a soft kiss. "Love me!" she replied as she pulled him to her. Feeling his warm skin against hers sent waves of pleasure through her.
After Arthur made love to Willow he pulled her close wrapping his arms around her. They both fell asleep for several hours.
It was early in the morning when they both awoke and it was still dark outside. They both got dressed and headed out.
Sitting back they watched some shooting stars that danced across the sky.
Right before dawn, he took Willow by the hand and led her down the walkway. "So what do we do now?" Willow asked Arthur.
"I honestly don't know right now. So much has happened that I need to think about a lot of things. I will think about what you said. I will not make any promises. I want you to know that I love you and no one will ever replace the love that I feel for you." he told her as they approached the town.
After Arthur left Willow he headed back. Confused with such emotions, he was lost in what to do, or even how to do it if he was to choose Willow.
He sat alone out on the balcony pondering on what to do. He loved Willow with all of his heart, but there was Lillian that he cared about too. He was falling in love with Lillian and now that the wedding was going to be this week how could he even think to hurt her. All she did was try to be kind and loving to him. Then if he did choose Willow, would her father even let him be with her? He didn’t want her with him because of his grandmother, for all the terrible things she had done and could still do. He couldn't blame him for keeping her away.
Arthur headed out with James to go site seeing. As they walked, Arthur had to ask what was weighing heavy on him.
Arthur stopped turning toward his father. "I need to ask you something," Arthur told his father. "Sure what is it?" he asked. "Well I ran into a friend, and well I heard some stories that shocked me and I wanted to know if they were true. I heard that you were married before and the girl cheated on you with a stable boy and got pregnant with his child. When your mother found out the truth, she killed her, the stable boy, and her mother for their crimes. And that you were in love with mom before you were made to marry that girl. Is it true?" he asked. "Yes it’s all true, and I didn't tell you because I didn't want you and your sister to see your grandmother as that person. She's queen and with that comes a lot of responsibility. They were wrong.
They were punished by law for treason. In the end I got my one true love, your mom." he told Arthur.
"Ok, that makes a lot of sense, That what I heard. Now comes the hard part. I'm in love with Willow. She was who I wanted to be with, but her father said no. Then there is Lillian, she is sweet and pretty. I care for her too. I was falling in love with her and, well,.. We are to be married this week, but now I don't know what to do, who to be with and how to do it if I was to choose Willow." he explained. "Well, all I can say to you son, is follow your heart. If you love Willow then you will find a way to be with her. I wouldn't marry Lillian if you have any doubt. The last thing you want to do is hurt her. No matter what you decide I'm proud of you. I will support you and try to help you all that I can," he told Arthur.
Arthur found himself alone in his room. He pondered on what his father said. He knew that his father understood what he was going through. Now if it just could be a happy ending, like his father’s.