Chapter 17- The Waiting Game

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Alex hadn't stopped replaying the image in his head for the past few days.

He could recall it all so clearly. His body pushed to the side. Eliza flying through the air, sailing in the wind, before crashing back down to earth. The way her body hit the ground with a heavy thud. She lay so still, no movement. He'd been so focused on her that he ignored the apologetic ramblings of the man who owned the horse. All Alex could do was try to awaken Eliza whilst calling for someone to help.

He'd carried her to her home and immediately dispatched a servant to get the court physician. Lady Marianne had greeted them but had nearly fainted upon seeing Eliza's limp body.

It had been chaos from there on out. There'd been a rush of feet- the Greystones, servants, physicians. Alex had blended into the wall in desperate hopes of not having to tell the family that he'd been the idiot who let Eliza get hit. Thankfully in all of the chaos he'd been ignored. He spent his time watching everyone else scurry about.

Dr. Goodwin told them all that Eliza was going to be fine, but would probably be unconscious for a few days. She'd luckily not hit her head but her body had been pretty bartered by the fall. What Eliza needed more than anything was rest and quiet.

The family suddenly remembered Alex's existence when the doctor left. He'd immediately burst into a string of apologies. The Greystones were very kind and comforting, but Alex wasn't sure if they were being nice or holding back because he was the prince.

He hated himself. If anyone should have been pushed out of the way, it was Eliza. He could take the force of a spooked horse better than she could. The sight of her petite body flying through the air would never leave him.

Alex visited whenever he could. It seemed that the Greystone house was the most in demand place in town. Eliza was popular. Everyone liked Eliza. Alice and Bea were staying over to support the family. There'd been a steady flow of visitors from court and house resembled a florist now.

Nobody could see Eliza herself so it was more of a comfort thing. Alex had to leave the room when Rose burst into tears, his stomach knotting in guilt seeing the sweet girl cry.

Thank God she hadn't hit her head. The doctor said that if she didn't die from that, she'd be paralysed or have limited functions.

It was his fault. He'd distracted her with that disastrous proposal. If he hadn't have done that, Eliza wouldn't have been on the path or would have noticed at the very least. Maybe if he hadn't been so self-obsessed, he would have seen it and gotten her out of the way.

At the moment he was sat in on a meeting with his father and some tradesmen. He wished that he could be by Eliza's side but duties were duties after all. Alex shifted in his chair, trying to avoid his father's eye. One day this would be all his. He'd be the one in the largest seat, telling everyone what to do. It would be him who was in charge of everyone and everything.

That terrified him. Eliza being hurt terrified him.

The meeting being over was a sweet release. Alex could see that his father wished to say something, but the King merely looked at his son without saying a word.

"Your Highness!"

He turned to see Gabriel running over to him.

"Lady Elizabeth is awake."

The words had barely left Gabriel's lips when Alex turned and broke into a run. He raced through the palace and the town, jumping over carts and dodging people. Passers by looked at him as though he was crazy but he really didn't care. All he wanted to do was ensure Eliza was ok.

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