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Love in the time of war

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The sounds of battle and destruction were overwhelming as Lady Elizabeth ran with all her might through the castle to the library, panicked. She was a woman of standing, the ward and niece of King Blossom, strong and independent, and surprisingly trained to fight — no matter how many times the Queen protested against her and her cousin Princess Cheryl learning. Yet instead of caring for her own safety, as the other Ladies did, she was recklessly rushing not only to the library, but also to the librarian himself — her best friend.

She was terrified something had happened to Jughead, alone in the royal archive, a dragon currently rampaging through the town and trying to burn down the castle. She arrived at the library to find it, and Jughead, thankfully unscathed, and jumped into his arms, foregoing any and all royal etiquette. 

“I’m so glad you’re alright! I was scared something had happened to you.”

He chuckled weakly and held on to her tighter. “Me too. I couldn’t bear it if something had happened to you.”

They savored the moment in a way they usually did not let themselves do for fear of being discovered. Though he was the royal archivist and librarian, he was still a commoner with no title and Betty was a Lady. Their friendship was already perceived as too intimate and profound by the members of the court who knew about it, they could not let themselves indulge in any sort of intimacy in public. 

The sounds of the destruction occurring outside intensified and jerked the two apart. 

“You should be hiding with the rest of the Ladies, Betts,” Jughead said. “You’ll be safer there.”

“This room is just as safe as the inner-citadel, Jug, and I don’t want to hide out with conceited women who would still have the energy to judge me surrounded by tragedy. I want to be with the person I love.”

Jughead’s eyes softened, as they usually did in her presence, and Betty stepped closer to him, her hands on his chest as he put his on her hips.

“We shouldn’t,” Jughead warned.

“I know.”

“We might die tonight.”

“I know.”

They looked at each other, teary-eyed, their faces leaning closer.

“I don’t want to die with any regrets.”

“Me neither. If I’m to die tonight, then I want to be with you. No matter what the court says.”

They breathed heavily, maintaining eye contact for a few moments, before coming together in the most earth-shattering kiss. 

There was no place for regrets during a war.