Eric would never admit it, but he hated walking away from her. If he had thought it was hard the first time when he had only known her a few days. This time it was agony. He could feel her eyes on him begging him to stay, but knowing better than to try and tame him. She knew he could not be bridled to the palace. It wasn't his world, she was back in her rightful place and he was not sorry for it.

She had asked him to stay of course; but she hadn't pushed the issue and for that he was grateful. If she had pleaded with her wide brown eyes he would have crumbled, he would have given in, he would have agreed to stay and he would have become miserable. Outside he had a horse saddled and ready to take him where ever he wanted to go.

The Queen had come through and had paid him the more than the money she owed even though he had tried to tell her no. She had insisted that she had to pay her debt in full. Eric thought she had more than done that already, but her soft hands and wide pleading eyes had convinced him to take the money if only to stop her looking at him like that.

He watched as she was crowned; watched as the weight of the Kingdom was placed securely on her head. Like the chain mail before it; the crown looked good on her. He bowed to his new Queen to show his undying loyalty and left the cathedral convincing himself that he didn't see her lips tremble or her hands shake as the roar of the crowd drowned out the silence. She was better without him, she deserved better and it was apparent to even him that William was madly in love with her.

More than anything else he wanted her to be happy and he knew that her happiness would bloom without him around; he still carried the stench of death and the anger of the lost. He was not the man to stand next to life itself. He would only sully her beauty and dim her light. He got on to his horse in the empty and silent courtyard and rode out of the Palace in silence and never looked back.