Forever - Part 8

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The lovers' departure was merely hours away, and hearts were heavy. Both Hero and Princess dreading the goodbyes that they knew would take place in the near future. The ring still shone on the Princess's finger, gleaming with false hope and faraway dreams. Were they never meant to be? This terrible fact seemed almost certain in both their hearts. Soon the goddesses would have their wish, they would before long be separated for eternity…
The Princess sat in her quarters upon the edge of her bed, her heart heavy and her eyes upon the golden ring on her finger. It was beginning to darken outside, and all that lit her room were a few candles. She would meet him just before midnight. She rotated her hand as she had before, allowing the sparkling diamond to catch the candlelight. It seemed so long ago…that he had asked her to be his bride…even though it could never truly be. She gazed at it in awe, the designs were so intricate and beautiful… it was the first time that she had ever really gotten a good look at it. It was then that she noticed words very finely engraved into it:

    When you hear an Ocarina tune
    Upon the winds breath, under the moon,
    Think of me,
    I'll be thinking of you.
                I'll love you forever…

She felt hot tears forming in her eyes as she read the fine and elegant print, feeling her heart breaking. “Link…” She held the hand to her chest, longing to feel his lips upon hers one last time and wondering if he was feeling the same. She thought of all the things she would miss…his comforting voice; his deep, sapphire eyes; his gentle and yet so powerful touch; the feeling of sheer safety and invincibility she felt when he held her; the way that when he whispered something important to her, his warm breath would always lick at her cheek, unknowingly taking her own breath away; listening to the rhythmic beating of his heart and breathing as she lay in his arms; the gentle and passionate way he kissed her…
She shivered as a tear fell from her cheek, then, glancing out the window at the moonlit sky, she decided she'd better begin her reluctant journey to the Temple of Time
It was cold outside in the darkness, and she desperately wished she had remembered her cloak. The icy night air tore through the fabric of her gown easily, making her shiver. The streets were deserted, so when she arrived at the Temple of Time she saw her hero sitting, his head in his hands, on the few steps leading up to the door, looking very solemn.
“Link…” She said softly as she neared the steps, making him rise.
“Zelda, sweetheart…” She stood shocked for a second at hearing him using a word as blatant as that, but his voice sounded as if it was about to burst into tears, so she didn't think of this for more than a moment. He stepped down toward her, stopping in front of her and gently placing a hand to her cheek. He looked into her eyes, and indeed she could see tears forming in the sparkling sapphires of his own as they gazed into her soul. Again a thought flashed through her mind: Now she had seen him cry as both a child and adult… but again the thought faded quickly.

She could feel herself becoming even more choked up as he glided his fingers down her face, her neck, until gently taking her hand. “You're so beautiful…” She heard him say, shakily, apparently so choked up that he couldn't even access his built-in thesaurus. “You're not…” He lightly caressed her bare fingers, “wearing you're gloves. Someone will see your ring…”
“I don't care…” She said quietly, falling into his arms, “I just don't care anymore…I love you, I want to spend my entire life with you, and I can't stand hiding that beautiful symbol of our love…” She began crying softly into his tunic, Link saying nothing and simply letting his fingers stroke her.
After awhile, he finally did speak up. He spoke the words softly into her ear, “Zelda, it's almost midnight…we have to…”
She nodded after a moment, pulling herself from him. “O…ok…”
He quickly began to wipe her tears away, “Please don't,” His voice was still teetering on breaking, but he wanted to be strong for her. “You know I love you…” He took her hand once more and slowly opened the door.
Once inside the two were overcome with bouts of nausea. The room was freezing and seemed to be pulsating, and there were dark etchings on the walls and floor. Their first instinct was to get out of the place as fast as possible, but they knew that they had to close the Door. Link glanced over at Zelda, who was extremely pale and breathing hard in the thin oxygen, and he knew he must've looked the same.
They took their first steps into the Temple, both becoming more dizzy and disoriented with each step. Still they pressed on, tightly holding hands.
Their heads were pounding with the pulsating of the Temple, and breathing was becoming more and more of a chore, each life sustaining gulp of air feeling like a dagger to the chest.
Still they walked. If this was the price they had to pay for love, so be it. Both of their minds echoed this between the poundings.
They neared the Master Sword's pedestal, feeling faint. Link reluctantly let go of the Princess's fingers, stepping up to the pedestal and preparing to place the blade back into its resting place for the final time. Heat seemed to emanate from the pedestal, contrary to the rest of the room, and it seemed to be the source of the hell that surrounded them. His mind was numb as he reached to place the sword, but through his daze he heard Zelda's voice. “Wait…please…” He stopped, turning to look at her through blurring vision. He could tell that she was not feeling much better, still she attempted to speak, her weak voice somehow finding its way to him, “Please…just kiss me…once more…Link…I…”
“Yes, Zelda…yes…come here…” He spoke dazedly, stepping down the pedestal and dropping the blade on the ground in front of it, walking towards her again. “I love you…” He weakly took her back into his arms.
“I love you, too…” She seemed dazed as well, though still sorrowful.
After a moment, they weakly locked one another into that final kiss they had been dreading for so long.       
A piercing shriek seemed to emanate from the pedestal, sending a paralyzing shock through the two of them and forcing them apart. All they could do was stare, disoriented, at the figure that exploded through the pedestal moments later, sending cement and debris flying everywhere. It first emerged as a dark cloud, and then began to form a more defined shape, eventually materializing into a tall, muscular man in iron clad armor, a ragged cape flying behind.
He laughed as a foul, dark purple wind began to blow from behind him and from where the pedestal had exploded. The sword rose into the sky behind him, and, raising a hand, he caused it to shatter.
Link and Zelda looked on, the purple in the air seeming to disorient them even more. They seemed confused, nauseated, and nearly unconscious; all they could do was look up in silent horror. “Ah, Link, Zelda, fancy meeting you here. I must say, thank you for ogling each other long enough for me to free myself from that damned prison!” He swung his arm, powerfully sending them each to the stone floor with a single blow, their screams echoing through the Temple. He walked forward, his cape blowing in his own fell wind, smirking and kicking Link in his already bloody head. “I'll see you two in hell! May you die within the ruins of this Temple!”
He once again raised his hand, and with one swift wave, his powerful magic sent the Temple crumbling to the ground.

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