She clutches the letter tightly to her breasts as he rides off first to get the blessings of the priest. With any luck, her valiant crusader will return to her sooner than later. Sooner than last time.
Of all the lovely ladies, he only has eyes for her. Which makes her smile even more as she knows Jane has more beauty, Rose has more courage, and none of them can match the prose of Lilian. Yet, it is she who he values, she who he longs for. She who he visits late in the night.
Days pass. There’s lots of work to be done. Those pass by easy. It’s the nights that seem to take forever. She rolls around in her bed without sleeping, thinking of him, her brave hero.
He must be off in some faraway land where they speak a language she’s never heard and never will hear. He wears leather under steel and over that, drapes a red cross on his white robe. His allegiance will always be to God.
And of course, Lizzy. This time, he swears he will make an honest woman out of her. He swears he will return with riches enough to make the other Gentlemen envious. He’s so bold and daring, and strong. And can swing a sword with the best of them.
When he returns, they will live happily ever after in their medieval world of heroes and damsels in distress.
But it’s not a medieval world. It hasn’t been for centuries. Her hero only exists in her opium dreams.
Her sheets have turned gray and smell of death. She lies motionless, one step closer to the end. The doctors enter the room and immediately cover their mouths and noses. Both of their stomachs churn. They do their best to contain what’s in them.
They quickly try to nurse her back to help. They’re not sure if she’s going to make it or not. Neither of them think Lizzy cares one way or another.