“Do you realize,” he began, “that what you ask me to do, I could be executed for? You are to be married,” he said, coming to his senses.
“I do know this. But, when we were together today, I didn’t feel hopeless anymore. When you kissed me, I felt the blood warm in my veins and I felt like living again. I felt joy. I felt my heart beating once more,” she confessed.
“Highness, you have been in a very dark place; isolated. I’m afraid anyone could have shown you kindness and you would have latched onto them.”
“You are not just ‘anyone.’ You are my bodyguard. I have no choice but to trust you because you defend my life. So, if you are sworn to protect me, it should be easy for me to trust you. You have asked for my friendship and you have it.”
“But the feelings I… we… you… have are brought about by tragedy. We must be mindful of this.”
“Did you want to kiss me today?” she asked.
“And you said I was beautiful?”
“Do you think me kind and deserving of love and happiness?”
“Then respect me when I ask you to give me your affection. I must spend the rest of my life with a man I do not love. If you are able to share love with me now, it will give me the strength to face what is ahead.”
“Princess, the weight you place upon my shoulders is unbearable.”