Vasco dressed by moonlight, lashing buckles and cords in lopsided knots with hasty yanks and tugs. He had no need to look presentable, just the need to flee, to run, to get to her side.
Flora needed him. He knew it. He could feel it. His blood was on fire. Every fiber of his flesh was screaming, reaching for her.
The horse was too slow. Dragging. Even as the trees zoomed past and the forest gave way to sand and the sand met the sea he felt hours dropping past impatiently.
There was no time. Never enough time. He knew she was dying. There was too much blood on that armor. Too much to leave any for her.
Flora. He stopped, jerking the reigns, leaping, running, falling in the surf to cradle her.
'I'm here to rescue you my love. Please, please wake up.'
But she would not stir and she would not answer and he knew, he knew, he was too late but he refused to know. And the horse was too slow again. And the buckles were pulled and fastened in haste. And his bride was lashed lopsided and carelessly to the rear of his mount.
And he looked to the sun, to the setting moon, and he rode as hard as he could across the waves until he could swallow no more of world's tears. And he choked and coughed and drowned in the salt brine of his pain.
Just as she opened her eyes.
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