My eyes widened, jaw dropping. Harry stared up at me in complete seriousness, causing my head to spin out of control. But the worst pain of all was my heart. It ached at Harry’s words. I felt the tears swelling in my eyes as a warm smile touched Harry’s lips, but it only made me feel worse.
“Don’t, Harry,” I whispered. In the next few hours I would be dead. I would leave Harry to forever be Samuel’s. I couldn’t cope with knowing we could have made a life together. I didn’t want to think about what the future would have been like if we weren’t here right now. “Please don’t do this, don’t play with my feelings like that.”
“I’m serious, Rosie. Marry me.”
His eyes never let go of mine as he pulled himself up, kneeling on one knee beside me. I sat up, Harry reaching out to take my hand in his. He rubbed my skin with his thumb, the indents on either cheek becoming prominent as he beamed down to me, his eyes sparkling with love, love for me.
“Rosalie Anne Brookes, will you do the honour of being my wife?”
My lips parted, my head spinning. He squeezed my hand, joyful tears springing to his eyes. But his smile slowly began to fade as I stayed silent, lowering my gaze to his chest.
“Look, Rosie, when we get out of here…”
“No, Rosie,” Harry said sternly, squeezing my hand. “When we get out of here, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Promise me that will happen, Rosie. Promise me, please.”
I bit my bottom lip, staring deep into his determined eyes. He really does believe I’m gonna get out of here alive. As I stared into his sparkling eyes, I knew I couldn’t let him down. I gave him a faint smile, forcing back the tears.
I finally nodded.
“Sure,” I replied shakily. “I’d love that.”
A burst of laughter fell from his lips, a lone tear running from his eye. “Is that a yes?” he asked.
“Yeah,” I whispered, squeezing his hand.
Harry lowered his other knee to the ground, flinging his muscled arms tight around me. We both fell back, Harry landing heavily on top of me, our laughs mixed with painful groans. But we didn’t care. Harry sprinkled kisses all over my face and neck, his warm breath fanning over my skin. We rolled over, my body lying on top of him now. Our heaving chests pressed against each other as our eyes locked, my nose brushing against his. Harry’s grin was wide across his face, showing off his gorgeous dimples. His arms were wrapped around my neck, his eyes glistening with joyful tears. Our laughing calmed as I rested my forehead on his, my hands pressed to the floor either side of his head.
“I love you,” he whispered up to me. “My fiancé.”
A chuckle fell from my lips before I leaned down, kissing him softly. Harry reacted, slowly moving his lips on mine. I smiled into the kiss, humming lightly. It was a short, sweet kiss. And sure to be our last.
We slept in each other’s arms, our feelings ecstatic. But one thought lingered in the back of my mind, constantly poking at me, interfering with my joyous emotions. I would not live to marry Harry.
I stared up at the bars above my head, Harry snoring softly on my chest. I squeezed him softly, blinking back the tears threatening to spill. I nibbled at my bottom lip, a small sigh escaping my mouth as Harry’s words from earlier worried me.
“I’m going to fight, Rosie. For you. For us. I’ll protect you until the day I die.”
“What are you thinking about?” Harry mumbled, his head tilted up to stare at me. I had barely felt him shift, being deep in thought.
“You,” I murmured, my eyes flickering down to his. “Just promise me you won’t do anything to hurt yourself. Not today, or ever. I want you to stay safe, even when I’m not around.”
Harry sat up, pressing one hand to the ground beside me to keep him up. The seriousness in my tone wiped away Harry’s grin, his dimples slowly disappearing. He opened his mouth, but soon clenched it shut. I watched as he silently nodded his head.
“Thank you,” I murmured in relief.
I pulled my upper body from the ground of the ring and reached out, holding his head in my hands to tilt it up. I wiped under each of his eyes with my thumb before combing my fingers through his chocolate curls, fisting them on the back of his head.
Suddenly something bright caught my eye over Harry’s shoulder. Sunlight was creeping through the small windows at the top of the wall, creating a beam of light that ran across the floor and into the ring. I swallowed down the hard lump in my throat, letting the tears escape my eyes.
“It’s time, Harry.”
His eyes filled with thick tears before he nodded shakily, his emotions beginning to stream down his bruised face. He sniffled loudly before pulling his head back from my touch, rubbing his eyes roughly. My heart ached inside my chest as his curls slipped from between my fingers. Harry scrambled shakily up to his feet, his long legs trembling as they held his weight. A pair of soft hands offered to help me up, his fingers wiggling half-heartedly. I glanced up to his damp face before accepting the offer.
As soon as I was on my feet, Harry’s arms flung around me, pulling my shorter frame into his chest. I pressed my ear to his chest, snaking my arms around his waist. He rubbed the back of my head, his weeping muffled as he buried his face into the hair on the top of my head. I nuzzled my cheek into his shirt, my tears creating damp patches on the fabric.
I finally felt Harry planting a forceful kiss to the top of my head before withdrawing. His shaky breath fanned over my head, the hot air making me shiver. Harry gently pulled me away from him, his hands resting on my shoulders. I reluctantly let my arms slip from around him, taking a small step back from his shaking form. The lack of body warmth emanating from Harry onto me made me feel alone and distant. I wanted his warmth, his touch. But our time was up.
“I’m going to miss you so much,” he cried, his body jerking with every sob. Harry’s gorgeous features contorted to agony and desolation as he let go of the tears swelling in his eyes. I would have done anything to wipe that look from his face, to see that stunning, dimpled smile spread across his face once more. He hung his head, red and swollen eyes squeezed tightly shut. I curled a finger under his chin, desiring for those eyes to gaze into mine. I lifted his head, wiping the lingering tears from his cheeks.
“Now listen to me, Harry,” I said sternly, but my voice barely came out as a whisper. I cleared my throat. “I’ll fight. I’ll do everything in my power to stay alive. But I won’t promise anything. I don’t know what will happen, but the thought of you will make me fight until my last breath. You’re my inspiration, Harry. You’ve got me through so much. And if I do survive, then we’ll get married, we’ll spend the rest of our lives together. I promise you that. I love you, you gorgeous hunk.”
I balanced on my toes, fisting his curls as our lips met in a powerful kiss. Harry’s lips parted in shock as he stumbled back, but soon composed himself, moving his lips in perfect sync with mine. A smile curved on my lips as I tugged on his dark curls. Harry’s arms slid around me, closing the short distance between us. Our beating hearts raced madly, every thought and feeling we had mingling in this one kiss. Warmth filled my entirety as I hummed into the kiss. My eyes fell closed, his tangled curls tight between my fingers. The kiss held so much depth, so much significance, my skin tingling at the feeling it gave me. My bottom lip was desperately taken between Harry’s teeth, tugging teasingly at it. The atmosphere was intense, using the small amount of time we had to feel, to taste each other for the first and last time.
But I eventually had to pull back, that never ending tingles running under my skin. The beast lingered at the surface, growling lowly into my ears. Our foreheads pressed together as my lips ghosted over his, both of us out of breath. Harry’s eyes were still closed, his mouth leaning into me again to brush his lips on mine, as if savouring my taste. He grazed his bottom lip against mine, letting out a deep sigh. His warm breath blew softly over my lips before he took his swollen bottom lip between his teeth.
I eventually took a step back from his presence, not willing to tempt the monster slowly crawling out of me. A warm hand slipped into mine, silently leading me back over to the corner I was tied to hours ago. We knew in a matter of minutes Samuel would realise it was morning. He’d come out to watch me die. We had risked getting caught last night, but we never were. We were able to have our final night together. I couldn’t ask for any more.
I shook myself out of my thoughts, gazing up at Harry. He put a weak smile to his lips as he nodded down to the space I was tied to last night, squeezing my hand to encourage me to do as he wanted. I glanced back up at him before crouching to the floor, shuffling back until my back was pressed to the padding.
Harry squatted down beside me, gazing deeply into my eyes, a hint of amusement flickering in his orbs. I smiled uncontrollably as he sat on my lap sideways, nuzzling his face into my neck. I whimpered as his teeth nibbled at the crook in my neck. I tilted my head back, letting my eyes fall shut as he trailed soft kisses up my neck. I soon felt him shift slightly on my lap, fiddling with his hands shakily. Harry pulled his lips from my skin as I opened my eyes, gazing down at his large hands. I watched in confusion as he tugged one of his rings from his fingers, bringing it up to his plump lips. His eyelids drooped as he planted a light kiss to the metal before pulling it back, taking one of my hands in his. He held it flat in the air in front of him. My eyes widened, my smile fading away as he slowly slipped the ring onto my wedding finger, squeezing my hand softly.
“‘Till death do us part,” he whispered.
A weak smile broke out on his face, his dimples barely noticeable on his cheeks. My heart skipped a beat in my chest as my attention flickered down to my hand.
“Oh, Harry,” I breathed, staring down at the metal wrapped around my finger. A soft kiss was pressed to my cheek before he silently climbed off of me, brushing away the tears spilling from his eyes. He crouched beside me, sniffling quietly as he delicately tied my wrists back up to the rope of the ring with the torn piece of rope I had ripped last night in my mad state. I watched in silence as Harry’s long fingers carefully worked to tie knots into the rope, the light glistening off of the ring. I craned my head down, attempting to catch Harry’s attention, but he kept his gaze on the rope, refusing to look me in the eye.
Once my wrists were secure to the ropes of the ring either side of me, Harry stood up, groaning softly as every movement sill pained him. He stared down to me, the light emanating from behind him casting a shadow of his figure over me. I could tell the weak smile on his face was false as he took a step back from me. Something was wrong, the expression on his face, the misery in his eyes giving me a bad feeling.
“Harry?” I asked worriedly.
He hung his head, the tears silently dropping to the floor by his feet. I thought he would tie himself up next before Samuel and his men came back in.
“Harry, what are you doing?”
My voice laced concern as his head lifted back up, tears never stopping from leaving his eyes.
“What about your ropes? Samuel will catch you. Tie yourself back up.”
My tone grew louder, more frantic with every word, my eyes glancing over to the changing room door. My heart stopped in my chest as I heard shuffling coming from the other side before a deep bellow.
“Harry, please,” I pleaded, tugging on the rope to free myself.
“I’ve decided, Rosie,” he said shakily, staring intently down to me. “If there’s any chance you’re going to survive this, I’m gonna have to give myself into Samuel. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
“Harry, no,” I said frantically, tears swelling in my eyes. “I won’t let you do this!”
“If it means saving you, I’ll do it. I know I may never see you again, but what other choice do I have?”
“But you promised me you wouldn’t do anything to harm yourself. You lied to me, Harry,” I sobbed, fighting angrily against my bonds.
“I’m doing this for us, Rosie. Don’t you want that?” The hurt evident in his voice made me wince, but didn’t change my mind.
“I don’t want you to get hurt, Harry,” I mumbled, tears spilling from my eyes. My bit my bottom lip, stopping loud sobs threatening to burst from my mouth.
“Well that’s a risk I’m gonna have to take.”
A sudden banging emitted from the changing room, making us both jump. My heart pained with each beat it took, the rope burning into the skin of my wrists as I fought against them.
“Harry, stop this,” I cried, tears streaming down my face. Concern filled my entirety as Harry stared down to me, silently shaking his head at me.
“I can’t, Rosie. I’d rather die than live knowing I could have saved you.”
I screamed out in anger, knowing I didn’t have enough time or strength at the moment to rip out of these ropes, to stop Harry from sacrificing himself.
“Rosie, promise me something.”
“Stop this, Harry…”
I opened my mouth to protest again, but the silent pleading in Harry’s eyes, the seriousness in his tone made me listen to what he wanted to say.
“What?” I whispered.
“Promise me you’ll run. If you get a chance to. Go, run. Please, Rosie. Do that for me.”
I shook my head vigorously, squirming about under the rope.
“I’m not leaving you, Harry,” I cried, tugging violently on my bounds. Harry smiled weakly down to me, tears escaping his bruised eyes. My emotions blurred my vision, making Harry a distorted figure towering over me. My body grew hot, angry as the yearning to be free, to prevent Harry from doing this was too overwhelming.
Harry brushed the tears from his cheeks, his usual cheeky dimples popping into his cheeks.
“I’ll see you on the other side, Rosie,” he whispered.