Notes: prettydynamic says:
Before you proceed, if you read my chapter 9 some time ago while my chapter 10 was not posted yet, I have made some changes to that chapter in order to give way to this ending. Please read chapter 9 in order to enjoy the final chapter . Please do let me know if you like the ending.
Though the sunlight barely reached the tower, it wasn't too dark. You can still see the solitary bed in the room and the cobblestones that make up the walls of the tower. She laid her head on the pillow and lay sideways on the bed facing the cobblestone wall. She didn't know how long she had been lying awake in bed. She was so lost deep in thought, wondering if she would get out alive, or if she would ever see Andre again. She wanted to tell him that she loves him. She regretted not having told him or shown him more elaborately how much she loved him. She didn't notice that tears had trickled down her cheek until she felt the dampness on her pillow. She couldn't remember the last time she cried. She had never been afraid of anything, now she was afraid she'll never see Andre again.
A sudden presence in the tower caused her to seat up. She groped for anything within her reach to protect herself but when she realized there was nothing, she stood from bed and poised her knuckles in front of her like a man ready to fight.
"You need not be agitated, Oscar. It's only me."
Though Oscar could only see his silhouette, she knew it was Girodere.
"I'm agitated because it's you!" retorted Oscar.
Gerodere came closer until Oscar could clearly see his face in the light. "I am not the enemy, Oscar. I'm your friend..."
"Friends don't do this to their friends..."
"Believe me, I only want to help you, Oscar," said Girodere. With each word he moved closer to Oscar and Oscar kept backing up to keep Girodere's distance without putting her guard down even for a second.
"Don't you want to see your father? Don't you want to go home to your family? You do know that can happen, don't you? I can make that happen" continued Girodere.
For a moment Oscar stared at him speechless. She looked deep into his compelling grey eyes. She wanted to see her father, wanted to see her mother and her sisters. Can Girodere help her?
She was so lost in thought she didn't notice how close Girodere had become until he was close enough to touch her cheek. Before she could move away Girodere held her with his left arm, drawing her closer to him while his right hand continued to caress her face.
"Think about it, Oscar. Leave Andre and be my wife. Your father will welcome you back."
The tower was not easy to spot. Huge hedges and gigantic trees surround the tower. After midnight, Andre knew it was futile to move further as he had nothing but the moonlight for guidance. He soon sought refuge beneath a Sycamore tree but rest was elusive as he kept waking up every few minutes plagued by nightmares about his wife.
It felt like he had just closed his eyes when he was awakened by the chirping of the birds and the first rays of sun. He tried to block the rays with the back of his hand as he stood up to resume his search for his wife. A pathway of hedges caught his attention and decided to follow it out of curiosity. He soon reached an inconspicuous tall structure with a window high up on the top. He wondered if this was the shack referred to by the old man.
As he surveyed the tower, figuring out how to get in, his boot caught something solid. He bent over to see what it was and was astonished to find the yellow gold band with his name and Oscar's name on it. It was the matching smaller pair of the wedding ring he wore around his ring finger. He slid the smaller ring on his little finger. He knew this must be the place.
He took a rope and some equipment from his horse tied near the sycamore tree where he slept and upon returning to the tower, he laboriously climbed a few feet up the tower so he can threw in his hooked rope on the window to help him in his ascend up the tower.
Oscar was ready to slap his handsome face had he moved it closer to kiss her but she was spared in hitting Girodere when they were both startled by a clanking on the high window. They both glanced up in surprise.
"Help! Is somebody there?" cried Oscar.
"Hush!" scolded Girodere and pulled Oscar to him, covering her mouth with his hand.
Nobody answered which led to Oscar and Girodere to think that it had been their imagination. But within a few minutes an enormous shadow covered the window, blocking the rays from entering the room.
"Let her go, Girodere!" demanded Andre.
Oscar struggled to free herself from Girodere's grasp. "Andre! Andre! I'm so glad to see you," cried Oscar.
In surprise, Girodere loosened his hold on Oscar. Oscar managed to escape his hold and ran to the bottom of the window calling out to her husband to be careful.
Andre jumped from the 10 feet high window, aiming to fall directly on Girodere. He was successful in crashing him to the floor. They struggled and fought hard to overpower the other but both were of matching strength and agility.
"Oscar, climb up the rope I hooked up by the window. Get out of the tower," commanded Andre.
"I can't leave you," protested Oscar.
The men were hitting each other by their fists, each banging the other against the wall every opportunity he gets. Oscar felt torn between wanting to stay to ensure her husband's safety and obeying him to find safety out of the tower.
"Do as I say Oscar," pleaded Andre as he evades Girodere's punches.
Years of training in the army still kept Oscar fit to climb up a few yards and grab the rope to climb out of the window. Andre had Girodere pinned to the ground, he gave him successive punches on the face and as he was about to give another blow to knock him unconscious, a massive blow on his back sent him sprawling on the floor beside Girodere, making him semi-conscious.
Oscar was almost out of the window but glanced back when she heard her husband's faint cry as one of Girodere's men hit him on his back.
"Andre!" cried Oscar.
She jumped down back into the tower to go to her husband's aid but she didn't get close as Girodere's two men seized her by the arms.
"Andre!" she cried as she watch him slipping out of consciousness.
Though one of his eyes were swollen, Girodere managed to stand up hobbling.
"Milord, that was the man we told you about who defended the old man when we came to take the ring. We were lucky we got it before he came along to the rescue," said one of Girodere's men.
Though hobbling, Girodere took out his sword from its sheathe and raised it to kill the unconscious Andre on the floor.
"No! Don't kill him, Girodere. I will marry you," screamed Oscar as she was held by the 2 armed men of Girodere.
Girodere stopped dead in his tracks and looked at Oscar. He looked into her eyes filled with unshed tears, trying to read her thoughts.
"I mean it Girodere. I will marry you. Just let Andre go, please. I will leave him and marry you just don't slay him" uttered Oscar.
Girodere's eyes began to shimmer with tears as he fell to his knees in despair, dropping the sword on the floor.
"You love him so much, don't you?" uttered Girodere in a painful voice.
Oscar silently nodded her head as a solitary tear fell down her cheek.
Girodere was silent for moment neither looking at Oscar and his men nor at Andre.
Oscar found her voice. "I must have loved him for a long time, only I didn't know it until I wedded him. I love him more than anything and if letting him go is what's going to keep him safe and alive, I will do it."
Every word seem to be a dagger piercing Girodere's heart. He ordered his men to let Oscar go and to leave them alone in the tower. Oscar immediately rushed to Andre and cradled him on her lap.
"Your father spoke of a ring bearing the Jarjeyes crest. He said he would never accept either of you till the day he finds Andre wearing that ring on his finger. I was appeased that he would never forgive nor accept Andre as long as I see the ring on General Jarjeyes finger. Then one day the ring disappeared on his finger. I asked him where it was and he said he gave it to an old man as a token of gratitude for without him, he would have been dead. I knew I must find the ring just to ensure it would never fall into the hands of Andre Grandier and for months I searched for every old man in the kingdom, just to find the ring... and now it's mine."
He glanced at Oscar who was cradling Andre on his lap. He knew she could hear him but all her attention was keeping her husband alive. He saw the relief on her face when she realized he was alive albeit barely conscious.
"Just let me kiss him good bye before I come with you," said Oscar in a soft voice.
Oscar closed her eyes as she held her husband for the last time. She wanted to memorize every feel of him, every scent of him that she may always keep it with her as long as she lives. She slowly opened her eyes to look at Andre for the last time when a black stone engraved on a familiar Jarjeyes crest glistened before her eyes. She looked up at the face of the man who held his father's ancestral ring.
Girodere held out his hand to Oscar, indicating she was free to take the ring.
"I...I... don't understand," said Oscar as she touched the ring on his palm.
"You truly love Andre I see, and you'll do anything for him...I love you Oscar and though it hurts...I'm giving you to the man you truly love. I want your happiness, Oscar...and this ring will give you that complete happiness," said Girodere.
Oscar burst into tears. "Thank you, Girodere. I'll never forget this..." Oscar slipped the ring into Andre's finger and hugged him tightly.
Girodere forced a smile. "I'll see you both back in the army, Commander Jarjeyes."