When the Queen had fled the room, the King had followed her, clearly thinking it was he who had upset her. The Guard was left with a gasping Isabella still coming down from her furious release. She had tried to touch him, but he had pulled his clothes on and left without speaking. He was done with her.
The next morning, after a sleepless night, he stood on the cold battlements and watched the sun rise through the early mist. That night he had wanted to leave. He was disgusted with himself for allowing this place to corrupt him. He had wanted to take a horse from the King's stables and steal away into the night, never to see this court, and its monstrous people again. But he couldn't leave her. Even if she was likely never to speak to him again.
Then he sensed a presence behind him and turned to see the Princess standing before him, wrapped in a red wool cloak, her blonde hair loose around her shoulders. His breath caught in his throat. It seemed she had also been unable to sleep.
She stared at him as if she was trying to memorise what she saw, and after what seemed like an age stated simply, 'I love you.'
And then she was in his arms, kissing him, her warm hands on either side of his face, her eyes shining.
'I thought you would never speak to me again,' he managed to say as he cradled her in his arms.
'I know it was him,' she said, 'I know what he is capable of.'
'Has he hurt you?'
'On occasion, but I only have myself to blame. I've allowed him to control me.'
'I rejected you,' the Guard said sadly, 'What choice did you have?'
'Don't blame yourself,' she said stroking his cheek, 'What else could you have done? You didn't know what he would turn out to be.'
'I want to kill the bastard,' he said.
'No, just be patient. We will find a way,' and she kissed him again, a long lingering kiss that touched his soul. He could feel his heart healing at her touch, and his hands pushed beneath her cloak to rest on her waist and pull her to him. He never wanted to let her go.