Alexander watched as something in Adrian's eyes changed. He knew that look. It was one Adrian always got when he was remembering something painful.
"Are you leaving now so that you don't have to see Sara?"
Adrian's head snapped up, and he immediately took a defensive stance. "No!" he replied, but Alexander knew better.
"Don't lie to me, Adrian. You don't want to see her a last time before you leave." Alexander was unable to keep a tinge of amusement from his tone.
Shaking his head, Adrian stumbled over his words before delivering a most convincing statement: "Ah, no."
"Come now. It's not like I don't understand the feelings of courting a woman." Alexander laughed as Adrian tried to come up with something clever to say. "I'm serious, though," he said, his voice taking on a more solemn tone. "You oughtn't leave in the middle of the night."
"I can take care of myself, Your Highness."
Snorting, Alexander waved Adrian's comment away. "Just as you took care of yourself when Sara wounded you, eh?"
Scowling, Adrian shook his head. "That's not the same thing," he protested, but Alexander cut him short.
"Don't argue with me. Do I have to lock you up?"
"The sooner I leave, the more time you'll have with Sara," Adrian shot back. Alexander was left devoid of words. Adrian had played on his weakness.
It wasn't like Adrian to be so defensive or possessive. He really does care for Sara, doesn't he? The realization brought about a hint of envy, and Alexander tried to convince himself that he really didn't care what happened between the knight and the prisoner.
"It's not like you to bring a woman between our friendship," Alexander said, then realized how hypocritical he sounded. For the past few years, women had danced in and out of Alexander's life - or rather, he'd danced in and out of theirs - and here he was, accusing Adrian of letting Sara chip away at their friendship. He was a hypocrite, wasn't he?
Adrian opened his mouth to say something, then shut it. Nodding slowly and with great restraint, he said, "Fair enough."
"Sara is going to get the best of us, isn't she?"
Adrian shrugged and looked away.
"Alright, Adrian. You may leave tonight. Just promise me you won't let anything happen. You do have a lovely lady waiting for you to come back to her, after all."
A genuine smile broke across the knight's face, and he sighed. "Thank-you, my liege."
Sara deserves someone wonderful like him. Who am I to come between their relationship?