Tristan and Isolde
She watched the stars glitter in the foreign sky. Peering up at the darkness, Isolde knew what was expected of her. Behind her, her new husband, lord and now King Marke laid waiting, as he watched her. Isolde felt more on edge now than she did when she first set eyes on Tristan again. Standing from the seat she'd been so nervous to leave watching the fighters come and go. She could remember the tears that slid silently down her face as she believed she would never meet her love again. Then that moment came when she finally looked on at the fighters and saw him. Her Tristan, fighting so fiercely. Tired, but winning. Her heart leapt when she saw him. Could she be betrothed to him? Could she be allowed by the Gods to be with the man who had stolen her heart not so long ago? All those questions were answered in one swoop, as her father told her Tristan was fighting for another. Her heart shattered at that moment. The moment their eyes met again she felt that her body was on fire and willed the ocean to drown the pain away. Though no relief came, he didn't speak up as she screamed in mind for him to when she was stood beside Marke. He didn't even glance at her again that evening. If only he knew that the only reason that she was even here, and not in his arms, was the threat of a war. Her life, her love, her heart had been bargained for to stop a war between her home land Ireland and Cornwall. She ran her fingers through her now dry hair and turned toward Marke. Her heart pounded rhythmically in her chest. Commanding her to turn and leave. To run to Tristan and be by his side, even if she could manage to leave Marke here. She couldn't and wouldn't risk Tristan's life. Surly he would be killed if anyone discovered them. She felt trapped. The lightness of Markes eyes seemed to echo years of pain. Of the war of what he lost though as she looked at him that was evident. His hand had been cut off when he protected the boy who would have later grown up to become her lover. Crossing the room slowly she tried to create a smile out of her sorrow. She felt much like she did the day she had watched her mother leave her life forever. She wanted the ground to open up and swallow her whole. She pleaded with her heart to calm down as she drew in a deep shaky breathe. The smell of mead was heavy in the air as well as the smell of crushed flowers. Glancing nervously around she could feel Markes eyes follow her own. First to the door again and this caused him to sit up slowly.
"Isolde" he stood up and crossed the small space between them and turned her face staring down into her eyes. " I do not expect anything from you" his thumb dragged over her skin. He could compare it to milky satin. Her eyes a summer blue. His fingers dragged over her cheek and her eyes fell shut. She cursed herself at that moment realising it must have persuaded him that he was relaxing her when her body seemed to be on fire even more so now he let his fingers touch her. He bent down for one moment and breathed in. As nervous as any man would be, though to him, this was right. He had never fallen in love before like this. He knew after the short amount of time they had spent together today that he would move mountains for her if he could only see her smile that could light up his darkest of nights. Her breathing washed over him as he moved closer his hand now cupping her face. He hooked his arm around her waist and drew her closer to him before he allowed his lips to find hers. The kiss lasted only a second for Marke. The taste of fruit on her lips, her scent overwhelmed him and he only wanted more now that he had allowed himself this indulgence. For Isolde, it felt too long. Her eyes started to fill with tears that she felt threateningly close to spilling out. She wouldn't pull away that night. She should have pushed him away but instead she drew him in slowly. Praying that he would never know she had already been with another. She lay awake that night after Marke fell asleep holding her, she managed to slide out of his arms and dress. She pulled on a discarded shirt of Markes and a dark cape wrapping it around herself she made her way out of the castle down to the Roman bridge she had seen when she arrived here. When she got there she sat down by the rivers embankment and sobbed. She sobbed until the morning birds started to sing to her. She forced herself to her feet and returned to what seemed like a prison to her more now than ever.
Tristan lay awake that night. Unable to sleep, the mindless amount of images that ran through his consciousness threatened to destroy his sanity. Nothing seemed to make his desire for Isolde leave his mind. Nothing seemed to help the longing that he carried for the angel that saved him, that's how he saw her. As an angel sent to love him. Those precious days he shared with her had given his life meaning and to leave her brought back the agony that he never realised he felt ever since he lost his mother and father. The agony of emptiness, nothingness, of a meaningless life. Tristan knew he had to stop loving Isolde. It wasn't just him that would be prosecuted if anyone were to find out their love. Isolde would be banished or worse killed. He couldn't give her that fate he had to protect her as much as he could and in protecting her he was hurting her by not holding her. Everything seemed so confusing to him. His mind lingered on smiles they shared. Of the last bitter kiss they stole before she sent him away from his haven and into what he now deemed a life sentence of misery. This was too much for him to bare. He got himself up and walked out of his quarters, snatching up his sword; He stepped into the courtyard and looked around at what he knew he helped create. Markes kingdom. Marke is a great man. He raised Tristan like a son, more like a brother. Tristan walked down into the courtyard and raised his sword. Swinging it he fell into movements he knew well. Ever since he was a child the militancy of his future had been embedded into his soul. He was born destined to serve for duty, honour, and he knew that if he stopped for one moment everything he once held dear would fade away. Nothing could overthrow the way he felt about Isolde but he knew he had to deny everything. Or the kingdom would fall.
The morning came far to fast for Tristan the sun broke through the thick clouds to beat down on his chest. His shirt discarded on the ground. Servants scurried from courtyard to castle to market every now and then not taking a second glance as Tristan trained. Taking his frustration out on the air. Swinging his sword violently more and more until finally throwing it, Causing it to embed into the wooden wall that surrounded him. He walked to his shirt and pulled it on slowly his muscles ached badly. The reoccurring ache of his now healed wound ran through him every now and then. Even when he thought of Isolde he thought he felt it ache. He sat down against the hard wood and slumped down into the earth. His hair falling over his eyes as he closed them slowly.
"Tristan" the angels voice called for him to leave the dream he had fallen into. The dream that he had never left Ireland, that he lived with his beautiful Isolde. He forced his eyes to open and then saw her. Isolde wrapped in a cloak shivering near violently looking at him. Her eyes a brilliant blue had faded and clouded over. She looked like she was about to die. He stood up. It was still early and he couldn't help but want to hold her. He nearly stumbled toward her. His legs resisting still aching from the way that he had pushed himself.
"You shouldn't be here" he reasoned with himself. Telling Isolde this and seeing her stand her ground was something he knew in his heart he wanted to see.
"Tristan…" She said again. Her eyes scanning over his chest slowly to the scar of the wound she had attended to. " I…" she paused and moved toward him the cloak falling open exposing the shirt she wore. It ripped at Tristan faster than he could realise what was happening. He shook his head and backed away. The shirt was just a shirt, but it wasn't it. It was Markes. He shook his head from side to side over and over refusing to say a word to her.
" You should go inside" he looked up desperate to find a maid or servant that could help her in. He couldn't touch her. If he did… he sighed and looked at her. The brilliant defiant nature he once saw had weakened so strongly so quickly. " Isolde" he breathed. His voice filled with a sorrow he couldn't let free. If he did it would never stop.
" I can't… "Isolde eyes were desperately searching his. Needing to see if he still felt the same. " If…If we could be away from this… if we could be away from Marke.. away from responsibility and duty would you be with me?" her voice shook as her body trembled and she moved the cloak over her as tightly her body relentlessly shaking.
"Isolde!" Markes voice cut through the air in urgency. Tristan instantly froze. Her eyes looked directly at him ignoring Marke completely. Oblivious to how this must look to him she sighed shivering more. Marke moved down the steps and crossed the area his arms wrapped tightly around her " you're freezing!" He remarked worried as her body shook harder. Tristan watched in envy, in annoyance and in pain, his eyes scanning the area. Marke turned Isolde and slowly led her inside. Whispering into her ear.