He grabbed a bottle of whiskey and poured himself a glass. He downed the entire contents and placed the empty cup on the nightstand. Then, he grabbed Roslyn’s Blade and lit the tip on fire, letting the smoke fill the room. Now that Accacia was gone, he couldn’t sleep. This was the only time he could stay asleep for more than a few hours without a nightmare taking over. Well, he still had dreams, mostly of Accacia, but they were still painful. When he woke up, he realized that the events weren’t real, just stories of his imagination, and the knowledge was so excruitiating, he thought he would die. But he also didn’t want the dreams to stop. Aleco couldn’t win.
He lied down on top of the bed and closed his eyes. The bedding had been completely replaced, at Aleco’s insistence, and he felt his muscles relax on top of the soft sheets. He inhaled the smoke in his lungs and felt his mind start to dwindle. He couldn’t think clearly anymore, or remember what he was thinking about. Finally, he was asleep. All conscious thought ceased.
“Tell me,” she said.
Aleco opened his eyes and saw Accacia lying beside him. Her green eyes shined bright and her thin lips were slightly open. She was completely naked, and he felt his heart accelerate. The curve of her hips shined in the light of fire, and he stared at her body for a moment. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He still couldn’t believe that she was his. Somehow he knew what she was asking. “Nothing.”
Her hand glided up his chest and made him shiver. He felt aroused any time she came near him, whether she was clothed or not. Even when they traveled across the Continent together and she was wearing guard clothes, he wanted her. He wanted her now. If he wasn’t so upset, he would take her. She smiled at him. “Don’t be an asshole.”
He sighed, knowing he couldn’t hide anything from her. The look of despair in his eyes was enough to give him away. “I—I miss you,” he whispered.
Accacia placed her hand on his cheek then kissed his moist eyes, which were starting to leak tears. “I miss you, too.”
Aleco sighed then wrapped his arm around her waist. “I can’t do this, Accacia. It’s too hard.”
“This,” he said quietly. He ran his hand up body and felt the curves of her frame. Her hourglass figure was eye-catching. Sometimes he couldn’t look away. “Be the Nature Priest. This should have been you.”
“Well, I’m not here anymore, Aleco.”
Aleco blinked back a tear. “Don’t remind me.”
“You are a better leader than I ever was,” she whispered. “I’m too weak. You are the greatest man I have ever known, the person destined to be king.”
“That’s total horseshit,” he said. “I would be a horrible leader. I don’t even know what it’s like to be sober.”
She laughed. “Well, you hide it very well.”
Aleco leaned over her and wrapped her leg around his waist. “But you see right through me.”
She ran her fingers down his cheek and looked into his red eyes. “You look miserable.”
“That’s because I am miserable.”
“Well, I’m here with you now.”
“But you aren’t real.”
She reached out and grabbed his manhood. “I’m always real, Aleco.”
Aleco moaned as he felt her rub him in the way he liked. Her hair was sprawled out on the bed, and her eyes were lit like glowing orbs. She wanted him like she always did. The look in her eyes made his heart squeeze. The moment was equally exhilarating and depressing.
“Aleco, you have needs,” she whispered. “You don’t have to remain celibate because of me.” She rubbed him harder. “I want you to be satisfied.”
He shook his head. “I don’t want anyone else.”
She stroked him harder. “I don’t want you to be alone.”
“There is no one else for me but you.” He leaned further over her and ran a hand through her hair. It was soft and silky like it always was. “I’m never going to change my mind.” He kissed her gently and separated her lips with his tongue. The idea of being with anyone else was inconceivable. He could never kiss anyone the way he kissed her. He couldn’t make love to someone after being with her. Accacia moaned as she reciprocated his embrace. Her fingers glided through his hair, and Aleco loved her touch. He loved it when she touched him this way. It reminded him that she loved him, really loved him.
“Good.” She pulled him onto the bed and climbed on top of him. She straddled his hips and leaned over him. The look in her eyes sent chills down this spine. He wanted her, but she wanted him more. “I love you.”
“I love you, Accacia.” The look of longing in her eyes had him more excited. She was his and his alone. No one could ever take that away. She was completely devoted to him, just as much as he was to her, and even though they weren’t together geographically, they were still as committed to each other spiritually.
Accacia pressed her hands against his chest and leaned over him. She kissed his chest and ran her lips to ear. “I want you, Aleco,” she whispered.
He felt himself move inside of her, and he leaned his head back and he moaned. “Accacia.”
“Aleco,” she whispered as she rode him. The sight of her riding him sent him to the brink with pleasure. He grabbed her hips and dug his fingertips into her skin. He thrust upward and she moaned loudly. “You feel amazing.” She moaned again.
Aleco rolled on top of her and placed her legs over his shoulder. He thrust himself inside of her hard. “Accacia.” He breathed. “I love you.”
“And I love you.” She grabbed his back and pulled him closer to her. “I miss you.”
“I miss you,” he said between thrusts. “I can’t do this without you.”
She kissed his lips. “Yes, you can.”
“I don’t want to.”
“We’ll be together again someday.”
Aleco moved within her slowly, feeling every inch of her body with his. “Promise me,” he whispered. “I can’t go on without you.”
She grabbed his hips and pulled him deeper inside her. “I promise. We’ll find each other again.”
Aleco rocked into her while she gripped his back. Her green eyes shined bright as he made love to her, and he felt his body preparing for a moment of pleasure. Accacia leaned her head back and started yelling his name. The sight of her bliss sent him to the brink, and he exploded inside of her.
The moment of pleasure shattered his unconscious state. When he woke up, he realized it was all a dream. Her pledges of reuniting with him were false. Sweat was trickled across his body and his sheets were soaked. “Don’t go,” he cried. He grabbed the sheets and searched for her. Accacia wasn’t there. “Please don’t go.” He tried to return to the dream, but it was gone. His tears feel from his eyes like a heavy rain, and his heart throbbed in agonizing pain. “Accacia?” he whispered. “Accacia?” Every moment with her made him elated with happiness, but every time he left her, it was just unbearable. The tears welled in his eyes and he felt himself give in to the despair. He climbed out of bed and dressed himself before leaving the bedchamber.
He felt Asylinth House and sprinted through the forest. It was dark but Aleco knew exactly where he was going. Not only did he know the forest grounds better than anyone else, but the Lorunien Tree guided him away from unseen obstacles, like an upturned root or a small animal. Aleco ran as fast as he could through the nighttime woodlands. He wasn’t sure where he was going or what he planned to do when he got there, but he kept going anyway.
A few minutes later, he found himself at the empty harbor. There were no ships docked on the wharf. It was empty. Aleco walked down the pier and stopped when he reached the rope that tied Accacia’s ship to the wharf. It was the last place he saw her. The last place he would ever see her.
He sat down and placed his legs over the dock, and listened to the sounds of the crashing waves. The wind blew down his hood, revealing his face, but he didn’t pull it back up. This is the most pain he had ever been in. He lost his parents, watched them die, but that was nothing compared to this. He had committed unforgivable acts, and when he repented for them, it still didn’t amount to this agony. Perhaps this was punishment for everything he had done. He was given a beautiful gift only to have it taken away. Aleco knew he was a bad person, but he still didn’t deserve this. He felt completely paralyzed by the loss of his life’s love. If he didn’t have to destroy the soul binders, kill his brother, or save the Continent, he might give into the darkness. It was just too strong to fight against. He couldn’t do this for a long period of time. Eventually, it would get to him.