After dinner, everyone turned in for the evening exhausted from their flight and the excitement of the day. Sabrina stayed behind helping her staff clean up from dinner. She went into the sitting room staring into the roaring fire till she heard footsteps behind her. She turned around seeing Mark looking down at her.
“Sorry I couldn’t sleep,” he sat down next to her on the mountains of pillows. He kept admiring how lovely she looked with her hair pulled back into a braid “This is comfy could almost sleep here.”
“Why can’t you sleep?” she asked watching the fire reflect in his troubled eyes.
“Something is tearing at my soul. Do you want to know why Michael’s plan for your escape didn’t work and how we ended up getting married?” Mark felt her inner torment of needing to put all the pieces together. He too needed to piece things together for his own reasons.
“Yes, please tell me,” she gave him a sweet smile that made him reach out and touch her hand.
“I or should say King Marcus stopped Michael’s plan. I was waiting in the hall when Michael opened your door I was in shock. He was my most trusted knight. We stared at one another for a minute before you appeared looking disheveled. The glow on your pretty face told the story of what was going on between you two,” Mark’s looked deep into the fire letting himself go back to that moment.
“I’m most disappointed in you Sir Michael. Come with me now Princess and I will spare your lover’s life. Refuse me and I will send him to the dungeons,” King Marcus put his hand out to Sabrina as she looked up into Michael’s eyes. Sabrina stared at the two men trembling beneath King’s Marcus stare knowing his words were true.
“I can’t let you die. My heart would never forgive me,” she stood on her tiptoes kissing Michael’s cheek. “I will always love you. You are the keeper of my heart.” He leaned down kissing her as tears filled their eyes. She pulled away from him taking King Marcus’s hand.
“Princess you have made a wise decision,” King Marcus guided her back into her room. She slowly went staring at Michael with tears running down her face till the door shut and two guards posted near it. “Sir Michael, you will come with me now.” King Marcus hurried down the torch lighted halls out into the night air. He never looked back at Michael till they reached the stables.
“Sir Michael, I think of thee as a brother. I have trusted thee with my life on many occasions. I will spare you my wrath. You will leave now and oversee our men in the northern battle. You will not return till I send for thee,” Marcus said in a stern tone.
“My Lord, I did not know till this eve about your upcoming marriage,” Michael stared into Marcus’s eyes.
“It doesn’t matter if King Gregory finds out you were with his daughter he will have you hung. I am saving your life.”
“I thank thee for your kindness but I am already dead without my love. I’m in your debt and as always your loyal servant. I shall ride into battle seeking my quick death. I beg my Lord to take care of the princess,” Michael looked towards the princess’s window knowing she was crying within.
“Do not fear she is in good hands. Be gone now before King Gregory awakens,” Marcus turned away never looking back at the man he considered his best friend. Marcus entered the castle quickly going to Sabrina’s room finding her crumbled on the floor trembling and crying.
“My lady, please understand I did what had to be done. If he stayed your father would have executed him,” Marcus kneeled by her side brushing her hair away from her face. “I’m sorry your heart aches soon it will heal.”
“It will never heal he is my heart,” Sabrina’s eyes filled with angry grabbing at King’s Marcus’s dagger. “You have killed my soul you might well finish the deed and kill my body.”
“Enough,” Marcus pushed her hand away. “In the morning we will marry and one day you will understand I’m not your enemy.” He left her crying on the floor as she prayed for her life to end at that moment.
King Marcus did not see the princess again till the morning. He met earlier in the morning with King Gregory going over once more the allegiance the marriage would create. It was not a marriage for love only for power. King Marcus stared at his young bride dressed in the ivory gown as they stood in front of the chapel for their ceremony for all to bear witness to the occasion. Sabrina never looked directly into his eyes repeating the words softly. When they were announced husband and wife, she did not return his kiss. King Marcus took her hand leading her to the great hall for their banquet.
She never smiled as they placed the crown atop her head. King Gregory ordered the music to play as King Marcus took his new bride into his arms guiding her across the dance floor.
“Do you hate so much you can’t even lay eyes on me?” King Marcus whispered into Sabrina’s ear. She turned staring into his gentle green eyes. “My lady has enchanting eyes. I fear it will not be long till I give into your enchantment. Do you fear me?”
“The only one I fear is my father,” she looked over at her father basking in the glory of his new ally. She could see in his eyes he was already planning the battles.
“He will be the ruin of himself,” Marcus quietly said.
“His ruin will also mean your defeat,” Sabrina looked up into his eyes again making him smile at how wise his wife was.
“It will not be your father that ruins me,” he leaned close to her brushing his lips against her neck. “Only my beautiful rose of a wife has the power to do that.”
“You have my promise I will never bring harm to you in gratitude for sparing my true love’s life,” Sabrina tried to hold the tears back as she thought of Sir Michael.
“It was my honor to spare his life for he has saved mine many times in battle,” Marcus pulled his wife closer. The loud clapping of King Gregory startled Sabrina.
“It is time for King Marcus and Queen Sabrina to take their leave to their bedchambers,” King Gregory smiled wickedly as the guests followed the couple to their chambers waiting for the garter to be tossed. Sabrina tossed it quickly wanting to rid of the crowd. She caught a glimpse of her mother in the background weeping for her daughter. Sabrina met her mother’s eyes reassuring her everything would be fine as Marcus closed the doors. Sabrina excused herself for a few minutes to change into her night gown and steady her nerves. She couldn’t deny there was a kindness and caring way about Marcus. He did make her feel at ease. She took a deep breathe going to join her new husband. Sabrina found him lying in bed covered with the blankets. He had his eyes closed looking like he was in a peaceful sleep. She nervously climbed into bed lying down next to him. She turned on her side away from him listening to his breathing. She felt him move turning on his side wrapping his arm around her slender waist. He pulled her against him resting his head against hers. His long black hair fell over her shoulder.
“Sabrina I will not force myself on you this eve I am content to hold you for the eve. Soon I will not be able to control my cravings for you and will take you,” he whispered as she turned in his arms looking into green eyes.
“I’m confused my Lord why are you being kind?” she said watching a smile form on his handsome face.
“My intentions are not innocent. I have two requests of my lovely queen,” he ran his fingers along his cheek slowly.
“First I wish you would give me the chance to love you and show you my love. I understand your first love will always be Sir Michael. There is surely room in your heart to love me as well,” he stared directly into her eyes making her shiver slightly. “Second wish is an heir to my throne.”
“My Lord I am in your debt for saving Sir Michael therefore I will try to grant your requests. The first will be the hardest,” she paused running her fingers through his hair. “If it’s my fate to have your child I shall not deny it.” She moved closer to him kissing his lips taking him by surprise. He smiled kissing her back running his hands along her body.
“This shall be pure pleasure my sweet rose,” he whispered kissing her deeply igniting a night of passion.
Mark blinked his eyes coming back to the present realizing Sabrina was in his arms resting against his chest. He ran his fingers through her hair holding her tighter as she trembled in his arms.
“I did give you an heir and an heiress,” Sabrina whispered against his chest remembering their two children.
“We lived a happy life for four years. You never forgot about Michael but you did love me in your own way,” Mark had tears in his eyes trying to remember what destroyed their happiness.
“Do you remember what changed? The four years are blurry. I see us going to my sister’s wedding to Sir Randal. I remember nights waiting up for you to return from meetings with my father. I definitely remember our son he was your pride and joy and our daughter looked just like you with black hair and green eyes. You’re right we were happy and were content with my life. Why can’t I remember what changed that?” Sabrina stared into his eyes.
“I can’t remember either. Last thing I remember is watching from the doorway you lying in bed with our newborn daughter. You looked so beautiful with your hair hanging loosely as you talked to our daughter about her new life. I climbed into bed with you wrapping my arms around you telling you how much I loved you and our children. I remember watching you put the baby in her cradle then you came back to me nestling in my arms till a knock came on the door,” Mark stopped cursing silently for not remembering more.
“Mark, its ok you have helped me so much tonight. You are helping the pieces fall into place,” Sabrina sat up kissing his cheek. He smiled throwing more wood on the fire.
“Will you stay with me for a little longer?” he touched her hand as she nodded yes. He lay down across the pillows facing the fire pulling her down against him.
“It’s getting harder to keep the past separate from the present,” Sabrina whispered as he wrapped his arm around her waist. “Laying here with you right now I feel like Princess Sabrina. I feel like I have slept in your arms many nights before.”
“You have my beautiful rose. Let the feelings sweep you away don’t be afraid,” Mark rested his head across hers. “Once you let the feelings take you all the reasons for this weird stuff will come clear.”
“Let the feelings take me,” she smiled pulling his arm closer around her. “Thank you for coming here.”
“My pleasure baby girl,” he said softly as she completely relaxed in his arms falling asleep. Mark smiled seeing she was sleeping peacefully. He sighed knowing her peace would end once Michael arrived. Once Michael gets here I won’t be holding her like this anymore, Mark thought watching the flames till he fell asleep.