This was originally going to be a series of one shots but I decided to make just one one shot, since it kind of morphed into my other story "My Farewell."

Books, books, books and some loose papers. That was what my life had become. My existence lie in heaps with the manuscripts that coveted the floors around me. Torn volumes, ancient tomes, stories of lure and telling of truths. But what truths were there for one whose being relied on the words of books to tell him how to survive as opposed to gaining wisdom through life? There was only one truth that a piece of parchment enlightened me to; there was no such thing as fairytales. And it was all because of the parchment itself.

I was not the husband that I should have been. There was no mistaking it. Her lying lips comforted me, reassured me that I did what was necessary but that needy arch to her shoulders and that soft, glazy glisten in her saddened eyes spoke a language that we all know from birth. She was lonely. Miserable, even. It was my fault she felt such despondent emotions. I pushed her away to read. I had to be the best sage and to do that required avid studying. I took me so long to realize there were more important things to be best at. I spent so much time studying and somehow managed to be that stupid.

For a while it seemed like she was getting better. When on occasion we did meet, the sorrow was gone from her eyes and the bounce was back in her step. I thought it was odd then but thought nothing of it further. Who was I to question her happiness after all the grief I put her through? I couldn't suspect her of something like that…not Louise. She still greeted me warmly and looked pleased that we were together but no… the signs were there, as plain and easy to see as a lantern in the thickest of darkness. People don't become happy for no reason. She was always joyful to see me but it was in her nature to be affable. There was still something distant about her. I recognized it then yet still I didn't want to accept it. It was easier to just lose my mind in text than it was to investigate. I knew she wanted to see me. That was the problem. She only wanted, not needed. There was only one thing that could have really changed that…

I wonder if our final exchange had been altered, would she still have done it? It had to have been going on for a while but if I chose to spend more time with her then would she have ended it? The thought swirls through my mind. There was no doubt that I loved her. There is no doubt that I still do love her. The last we spoke…

"My lord Pent, are you finally done with your studies?" She asked me as she always did.

My answer was the same that I gave her every other time. "No. I'm just taking a break."

"Two days later you should! Why must you push yourself so? You're going to make yourself ill…"

"You have no need to worry about me. I've been doing this a long time. My body is accustomed to it."

"Knowledge definitely is an interest that is never soothed for you."

"I'm sorry." I apologized without any real feeling. "I know I have left you lonely."

"It is all right. You do what you must." She grinned and shrugged. Normally when I mentioned her loneliness she grew quiet but that time it hadn't phased her in the least.

"Then if you are fine, I should take this back to the study and continue." I motioned to some dried meats I had gotten from the pantry. She was perfectly content to let me go.

Sitting in that cold study I found myself needing her. It was strange to me, to feel so empty. It was the responses she had been giving me. Her warmth was what made breaks so desirable. When it nearly didn't matter to her, it affected me deeper than when she missed me. Without her, there literally was nothing in my life besides books. She was my only reality.

I had to see her again. I waited a day and then took another break. I looked first in the bedroom, where I normally found her. She wasn't there. She wasn't anywhere inside. It was strange for her to go outdoors without me. Occasionally we did go for walks in the gardens when it was summer but fall was setting in and the majority of the flowers were dead. I couldn't fathom why she would be there but it was the only place that I was yet to check. That was where she had gone.

I found her. But not just her. There was another man with her of whom I never met. They were so absorbed in their kissing that at first she hadn't even noticed me there. When she did, a look of guilt crossed her face. Her eyes melted into pity. Still, there was no regret for her to show. I had found the cause of her happiness that I had dared not accuse her of. He looked back at me, completely expressionless.

I could think of nothing to say. I turned away, keeping the many feelings that dwelled up inside of me from crossing my face. She didn't follow me. I went back up to the study, opening another tome to memorize. Books, books, books and some loose papers. That was all my life would be.

I probably could have done better with this but I wrote it late at night after a long day at school. I'm lucky that I managed to write it in a manner of English. Please R&R!