A.N. I don't own Inheritance series-too bad! Just for your info, a very, very tiny Eldest spoiler!

You may not even be able to spot it if you don't read carefully... And I am going to put out a "chapter" explaining the spoiler and having a few more ANs, okay?

DECISION

(Told from Arya's POV)

I watched as Eragon appeared from the shadows and came up to me where I was sitting on a large stone. His eyes pleaded to be understood, and I understood. Too well, in fact. I turned to him and said softly, "The night is beautiful." I knew what was coming, and I let it.

Oh, yes, later I berated myself for having done what was so obviously wrong; breaking his heart and breaking my own into the bargain. Queen Islanzadi never quite found out what it was that kept me from ascending the throne with a mate. And I never told anyone.

He agreed with me by nodding his head and glancing around, simply because it was. There were small creatures out around, fireflies blinking gently and the moon was soft and bright.

"As beautiful as you are, Arya Svit-Kona" he said rather foolishly, with an unreadable look in his eyes.

I drew in my breath sharply. So this was what the young Rider was after. I knew it, I admonished myself.

"No, Eragon. Don't hurt yourself like this," I told him. It was useless; the boy was already hopelessly in love with me. I had known. I had just told myself it wasn't true. To say it truthfully, I had known since he had drawn the fairth in my image.

He shook his head, his face in a painful expression. "No…please, Arya. You know what I feel for you."

"Eragon, you don't understand-" I said gently, hoping to ease him into the painful truth as easily as possible; that I had little feeling for him. Even if I did, there would be no way to create a union between us; we were very different.

He opened his mouth and closed it again, then said what he was going to say anyway. "Yes, I do. I love you, Arya. Tell me! Tell me if you love me back."

I felt ripped. Yes, I had felt a sort of connection between us that could grow stronger if I accepted this. But I couldn't. Not after what happened to my dear Faolin. And I am the Elven Princess! I couldn't marry a Rider. But duties come before happiness, always, in my station.

I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. A fierce wall built itself in my mind, with the decisions "love Eragon" and "turn him away for your good, his good and everyone else's" on each side.

The wall built up and up and up, and suddenly I heard myself saying, "No. I can't, Eragon. You are a Rider. I am the Elven Princess. We have separate duties and responsibilities. We cannot be together. You know this! And I am immortal, while you... you are human."

Eragon stared at me numbly. "I am a Shur'tagal. I will live longer than any human. See these?" he cried, touching his now pointed ears.

I bowed my head. "It will never work out," I whispered to the mossy forest floor.

He stared at me, completely overcome. His eyes suddenly grew dark, and I saw a hint of tears. He turned on his heel, only pausing to speak over his shoulder in a pain-filled monotone.

"You will regret this decision, Arya, for the rest of your life. I love you, and we could have been something! But for your silly 'duties'..."

I sat there and watched him go. And, fool that I was then, I let him. Then I stayed there and cried.

And I have regretted that decision for my whole life.


A.N. Okay, when I first wrote it, I thought it pretty good. Now that I came back to look over all my stories, it strikes me as kind of lame.

I fixed it up a little, added some details, cleared some typos.

But please review anyways... you'll get pixelated cookies and digital milk from me! *giant grin*

P.S. I really, REALLY like Arya and Eragon together but I wanted to try something different. Poor Eragon...