He seemed to drag in a huge breath as if he needed it to say his next words.
Lyana couldn’t look away from his perfect, flushed face, or his bright, beautiful eyes.
His voice was thick with emotion as he spoke, his words almost reverent.
“Lyana, you have helped me return from the pits of despair so many times, I have lost count. You have stood by me even when I pushed you away.
You have become my best friend and my most trusted confidant. You are my hope and my dreams for a better future for my kingdom—and for myself.”
He took a deep breath and expelled it shakily, the hope shining in his eyes almost undoing her. “I do not want to do any of this...”
he gestured to his carved throne and the expanse of empty room before placing his warm hand upon her cheek, so gently and with such care, tears lined her eyes. “...without you by my side.”