“Come back safely to me, you must come back safe,” I whisper urgently.

“Promise me that you won’t change. Promise me that I will come back and find you like this? Loving like this?”

I laugh. “Shall we swear an oath? You shall swear to come home safe, and I will promise that you will find me loving?”

“Yes,” he says. “I so swear,” and he puts one hand on his heart and the other in mine, and though I am laughing at the two of us, flushed from bed, handclasped, swearing to be true to each other like new lovers, I hold his hand and I promise to welcome him home as warmly as now when I see him set out.

“Because you love me at last,” he says, wrapping me in his arms, his lips to my hair.

“Because I love you at last,” I confirm. “I did not think that I ever would, I did not think that I ever could. But I do.”

“And you are glad of it,” he presses.

I smile and let him draw me back to the bed though the bugles outside are calling. “And I am glad of it,” I say.

— The White Princess, 2017.