Author's note: This is a one-shot. It's pretty dark… if that's not your thing stay away. This just kept bothering me and keeping in the way of writing for my other story (tumbled like it was stone) so I had to write this… (It's probably not all that good, but I had to post this as an excuse for not updating my other story ;)

Warnings for (sexual) abuse but nothing too graphic and maybe some swearing…

Summary: AU - King Louis is a violent, aggressive man…

Leaning his forehead against the door, he closed his eyes; trying to somehow block out the sounds he was hearing. He shouldn't be here; listening to the sounds on the other side of the door. He didn't want to be here… He should, by all means, barge into the room and shoot the bastard that was with her! He was hurting her… Violating her… but he couldn't do it… literally. The door could only open from the inside out and even if he managed to open the door, which he couldn't, he couldn't kill the king. He was a soldier who had sworn to protect the man.

The King was a violent, aggressive man who was maybe good for the kingdom but not so much for his people and especially not good to his wife who had yet to give him an heir.

He was currently 'witnessing' the king 'visiting' his wife in their matrimonial bed. He knew Anne always feared her husbands visits. She had told him he was violent with her and had on numerous occasions told her he would kill her if she didn't get him the heir he wanted. And she was fearful that day would come sooner rather then later.

He heard a door slamming…

Apparently, the king was done…

He waited a few moments and heard one of her ladies in waiting ask her if she was alright. He heard Anne answer she wanted a bowl of water and a wash cloth and to be left alone after that. He heard various sounds and then nothing.

He waited a couple of minutes before softly knocking on the door.

He waited…

He heard nothing.

He knocked again; a bit louder this time.

It took some time for him to hear anything when he finally heard her soft trembling voice. 'I cannot open the door tonight, I'm sorry.'

'Let me in my love.'

'I will not let you see me like this,' Anne cried softly.

'Please Anne, let me take care of you,' he pleaded.

'Aramis… I just cannot…'

'I can get you out of here,' he said. 'Please, open the door.'

After a moment he heard the lock click and the door opened. He stepped inside and Anne closed the door behind him. He turned around but before he could look at her she was in his arms crying, crying, crying.

He led her to the sofa, sitting her down gently; hugging her tightly. Speaking comforting words in Spanish.

It was some time before she finally looked up at him. Her eyes red and swollen from crying. He could see her now.

Her cheek was bruised and turning blue.

Her neck bore marks as if Louis had tried to strangle her.

Her shift was torn and bloody in certain places.

'He hurt you,' Aramis stated. Barely concealing his anger.

She nodded slowly, 'He's going to kill me, Aramis. If I don't get him an heir soon, he will kill me.'

'That is why I came to get you,' Aramis said.

'What do you mean?'

'I have a plan…' Aramis explained. 'Do you trust me?'

'You know I do,' Anne answered, 'but I cannot just leave, Aramis. I do not want any one to suffer because of me. If they notice me gone and you as well… they will cut of your head for helping me. I won't allow that to happen!'

'Do not worry about me… Treville sent me on an assignment today… near the border with Spain in fact…' Aramis explained. 'I already left as far as anyone knows.' He took her hand, 'I can get you home… to Spain.'

'You mean to bring me back to my brother?' Anne breathed, 'to my family?'

Aramis nodded, 'We will have to leave right now.' He stood up, pulling her with him, 'Will you be able to ride?'

Anne looked up at him, her hand still in his. She knew that Aramis was taking a great risk by taking her with him. And she didn't want to see him hurt or worse. She loved him with all of her heart and soul and she didn't want to think about a life without him. Even if that meant only having stolen moments together. This choice should not be this hard, she thought.

I can't breathe and I can't leave. Oh, I can't breathe.