I have waited too long.
Watching from the shadows, I stand still as he takes her lips with his and my guts clench in response. I can't look away.
For once I am the witness instead of the instigator. I always plan. I am always in control. I set events in motion that have repercussions. Except now, for the first time, I feel every shard of emotion; the result of my actions.
When I went to get her in that little insignificant speck of a village. I never thought much of it. It was a couple of days away from the tedium of the courtiers and their games that I play with so much ease that no thought is required.
She challenges me. When she first lifted her chin and refused to go with me I felt a stir I have never felt before. She gave in but only because she had no choice. I made sure of it. But her submission was only ever to protect him. I can’t break her spirit. Even today, in her audience with our Queen, she refused to give in. Her loyalty to her Mate flamed my frustration while reluctantly gaining my burgeoning respect.
I watch he pushes his hands through her hair, brings her closer and deepens their kiss and my singular thought is that instead of him it should be me. He opens the door and pushes her inside. His attention wholly on her, only ever on her and for the second before the door closes behind them our eyes meet and I know I have missed my chance.
Frustration gives way to bitterness and then to anger. Why can’t I walk through the vast space of Storm Castle with my woman by my side? Why can’t I with my position and reputation have everything I have ever wanted? I know unless I do something, anything, this will plague me forever. I will need to use every skill I possess to make her mine.
This is the price of my hesitation. I have willingly cast myself in the role of witness. In the unwritten, I know only one truth. My time on the sidelines has come to an end. I can either witness or participate.
My choice will determine the rest of the story.