Forever - Part 17

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The joy that shone from the Princess's face as the beautiful diamond ring was placed upon her finger once more was short lived. The date of the Hero's execution was growing nigh, and the lovers were becoming more and more desperate for answers. But try as they might, they could not find a way to set the Hero free. Now, the final night before the execution had donned upon them… and the Hero seemed to have lost all hope as he hung from those wretched restraints…waiting to say his final goodbyes to the Princess who had stolen his heart...

The soldier's face was hanging low that night as he waited for his lover's return. He was terrified… not because he was afraid of dying, no, but because he was worried his princess would risk it all to save him. She would surely try to get them both out of the dismal place, but in the process more-than-likely lose her own life. He would have to hold her back at all costs…he would not allow her to die in his stead.

Soon he saw the tiny speck of green that indicated her coming, and he stared as she materialized, approached him, and undid the shackles without a word. “Oh, my Zelda…” The soldier's voice was solemn and on the verge of tears. Gazing at her for a moment, he found that he could find no more words, and his head was aching with suppressed tears.

“Link…” She stared back at him with an equally heavy heart, her soft, melodious voice echoing vaguely through the room. His reply was not verbal; he simply let his fingers slide around her waist, pulling her to him. She sighed, letting her arms rest around his neck and pressing her head to his chest. The soldier then began to gently rock her back and forth, his face resting in her hair. “I…love it when you touch me like this.”

The princess's remark was sudden, and she could feel Link cracking a small smile. “Really?” She felt herself blush at his words, but was happy that he finally seemed to find his voice and that the mood had seemed to lighten a little. “I'm not…a professional masseuse or anything.”
“It's not that…it's just…when you touch me I feel…I don't know…safe, like nothing in the entire world can harm me.” She attempted to bury her head deeper against him as she felt herself flushing even more. In truth, she wasn't sure why she was telling him this…

“Well, that sounds reasonable, I am your protector…and I did save you from quite a few things…back long ago. But please, pardon me for asking, but…is that why I always find you right next to me the moment I wake up in the morning? I know you always wake up before me…but you always stay with me until I wake as well.”

“Well…I…” She could tell he was beaming from ear to ear now, and she too smiled as her face grew hot, not sure why she was so embarrassed to tell the man she had loved for her entire life-- and who loved her back unconditionally-- this secret. “Yes, partially…but…”


“I…it's mostly because I…like the sound of your heartbeat.” She breathed deeply after she said it, “I know it sounds stupid…I'm sorry, if it bothers you than~”

“Not at all.” His voice replied lovingly as he let go of her, motioning for them to sit down. “It doesn't sound stupid at all…and to be honest, I don't think I could stand waking up in the morning and not finding you cuddled up next to me…” His smile was warming.

“You've been standing it for quite some time now…” She looked to him, “you know, we haven't actually slept together…even in the same building as each other… for quite a while…”
He stared at the floor as he replied, flicking at it for no apparent reason. “Yes, I know…I've… thought of that myself recently.”

“When all of this is over we will. We can just lye there for hours…it will be wonderful…” The princess closed her eyes for a moment, thinking of the quiet night in her hero's arms that she had craved for so long. Link remained silent, however, looking opposite her with his head balanced on a fist, staring at the cold, stone ground.

“And do what?”

Zelda bit her lip, turning her head with a bit of red in her cheeks. “What…do you mean?”

Link exhaled. “Never mind.” He straightened his legs, turning to wipe his eyes. “We should stop fantasizing like this, it won't do us any good to dream of the impossible…”

“What? We…” Zelda broke from her fantasy with a start, putting her hands to her face as the tears came again, “we have to have hope…”

“I know, deific…” With one fell swoop he took her to him again. “But please,” he met her sparkling eyes, “be happy.” His fingers touched her cheek slowly, brushing her hair behind her ear. “That is all I ask…should the worst happen, I only want you to be happy. Do not grieve for me…and…” He inhaled slowly, his breath shaky. “I do not want you to be alone… I hand your sweet love to another, and whomever that other may be, I hope they know that they are the luckiest man in all of Hyrule…” His voice broke at the last words, and though he was trying desperately to fight back his tears, they came regardless. “You'll always have my heart, though, Zelda… I'll watch over you both as you rule this country.”

“I'm sorry…” The princess's voice was solemn as she let her own tears come, gripping her left hand as the diamond ring sparkled up at them, “but I can't keep that promise. I can't…I vowed my heart to you. I promised you that I would never love another… ”

“Zelda…” He held her close to him, fighting his tears, “Oh, Zelda…I love you…I love you…so much.”

“I love you too, Link…and I'll love you…forever…” With that she felt her hero's gentle kiss take her away as it had done so many times before.

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