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It made me realize something, while you were under the spell of unconsciousness, a death like sleep in which the mind is at peace. It made me realize that I, a man, even if I possessed no title to my name nor coin in my pocket, cannot live this life without you. Perhaps they'll say it was mental sickness, or maybe a fever that will take me from society. I'd give up the crown, the wealth, my good fortune to have one more moment with you, to gaze upon your silk-like complexion and to be trapped in your emerald eyes. Just to watch you cross the street once more, to smile at me from across the way. I'd give my life if it meant bringing you back. And as I sit here, watching you take rigid breaths, watching you suffer beneath the agonizing pain you endure, I wonder how I will survive. And I suppose the answer is relatively simple: I will not.

Ariella's hands clutched the parchment, salty tears blotting the ink written letter. Her vision was becoming less and less stable as a new rush of aches in her head began. She laid back down on her pillow and gazed out the window to her left, placing the letter beside her on the opposite pillow. She processed Callan's words as she longed for the outside world, having been cooped up in her lonely room at the Château du Bois for more than a month.

Cal hadn't been there when she'd woken up. The doctor successfully transfused the blood and saved her life, she owed Cal everything, and yet he was nowhere to be found. She longed for his comforting touch as she tried to remember his voice.

Cal thought Ariella dead, as Mae explained, and so he removed himself from court to process things. He left the tour early and went away, sparing just a few guards, to somewhere not a single person was informed of. Mae explained to Ariella when she awoke that just before, she had entered a death-like sleep that the doctor thought she wouldn't return from. Cal perceived her to be dead, and didn't spare a second glance at what he was leaving behind. They had sent letter after letter with travelers, hoping to seek him out and inform him that Ariella was alive, but no response was ever received.

Ariella had been awake for a little over a month, feeling as though she was cursed to look at his death note, feeling as though her heart was stolen from her. She refused to see no one save her maid, Mae, confining herself into her bed chamber. Even though her life had just recently been saved, she craved death more than she ever had before.

She couldn't live without him just as much as he couldn't live without her.

"How is your Lady today, Mae?" One of the servants from the du Bois household asked Ariella's ladies maid, carrying an empty chamber pot through the servants quarters.

Mae slid the letter she was hiding underneath her skirts, trying to hide it from prying eyes, "She barely eats anymore, refuses to brush her hair or get out of bed. I fear for her sanity."

"Oh, that poor girl," the maid muttered sadly, "They say the Prince impregnated her and had her poisoned for fear of scandal."

"Where did you hear that, Claudette?" Mae asked in a forceful tone, "You all know what happened to her. She fell and her side was punctured. The Prince has been nothing but kind to my Lady, and I suppose I'll have you reported if I hear you speak another word of this treason."

The maid stepped back timidly, seeming to shrink a few inches shorter before she darted away. Mae felt the bigger person, even if the other maid was at least a foot taller than her.

A small smile crept up to her lips as she revealed her hand from her skirts, clutching a royal envelope addressed to the Duke du Bois, stolen from his study just minutes before.

Ariella opened her eyes to find that the sun had faded away once more, as it always seemed to do. She slept the time away, hoping to one day find herself in utter darkness, where she would no longer find herself waiting for Cal to return to her.

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