Gordon took Princess Hilda's hand as they fled the Coliseum prison. They hid to avoid bands of roving parasites and magician before moving onward. She couldn't help but continue to glance at him as they ran. He had changed since the last time she had seen him.
They paused once they made it outside in the forest and Hilda pressed her back against a tree as she took in deep breaths. "You came for me," she said as she tried to meet Gordon's gaze.
He looked away. "I couldn't just leave you once we found out the Princess Hilda we had saved before was a fake."
Hilda reached out and touched Gordon's hand. "You're as brave as your brother, Gordon. Thank you."
Gordon looked at Hilda to give her a small smile. "We better hurry and return to the rebels so we can return you to safety."
It seemed like Gordon wanted to say more, but he remained silent as they traveled. She hadn't noticed it before while Scott was alive, but there was many similarities between the brothers. There was much good within Gordon and Hilda was seeing him for who he truly was.
When they reached water, Hilda looked around for a boat. "How are we going to get across? We will be trapped once they realize I am missing."
Gordon flashed her a smile. "Never fear, Princess. I had planned for this. The rebels are going to meet us here and take us back to their base they had set up at the borders of Fynn."
Hilda gave Gordon an appreciative look. "You've thought things through, Gordon. Where is the young boy I knew from when we were children?"
"The invasion happened, war broke out, and my brother died. How could I not change in the face of such obstacles?" He lessened the harshness of his words with a smile and Gordon took Hilda's hand. "The biggest reason why I changed though is because of you. Hilda, you lost your kingdom, your father, and nearly your life for this rebellion. How could I do anything less? Come with me. We need to hide until the ship arrives."
Monsters roamed past them on the beach, but Gordon kept Hilda hidden as they crouched low behind some bushes. His warm embrace comforted her and Hilda took strength from it. Not all was lost if the rebellion had people like Gordon within it.
Hilda saw the ship on the horizon and stood up from their hiding place. "Our people have arrived."
They were greeted warmly by the rebels and Hilda thanked them for their bravery and timely rescue. As they boarded the ship, Hilda linked her fingers with Gordon. He looked surprised, but Hilda just gave him a serene smile.
"Do you remember when we were children, Gordon?" Hilda asked, out of the blue. The rebels were fighting off some monsters who had climbed aboard the ship. The two of them were safe by the stern of the ship with guards protecting them.
"I do. Why do you ask?"
"Oh, nothing much. I just remembered when we were children and we stumbled upon a baker and his shop who had the most delicious sweets I've ever tasted. Do you remember that day?"
Gordon chuckled as he scratched his chin. "I believe I do. We got caught trying to steal his cupcakes and instead of telling our parents, he offered us more sweets instead. By the time we left his bakery, we were so stuffed and sick that we were in bed for days."
"Scott was too smart to indulge like we did, but I'm glad you were with me on that adventure. I have always liked that you're there for me."
"What else could I do? I can't just leave you behind. Never could, never will." There was a silent moment before he continued on. "There is one thing I recall vividly from our childhood. I was hiding in the gardens of your castle when you and my brother walked through. You were both discussing the ramifications of something, I don't quite remember what, but I do remember how passionate you were when you spoke. You looked absolutely beautiful. My brother must have agreed with the sentiment because he held your hand and kissed it."
She remembered that day. It was the day her feelings for Scott had grown into something more than friendly, but Scott had never truly acted upon it. She had wanted him to, but he had been a gentleman. When he died, she hadn't been able to mourn like she normally would have. She didn't know if there would ever be a time when she could mourn Scott's death, not with the Emperor looming over them like a shadow.
"I never knew you were there."
Gordon shrugged his shoulders. "I was always in the background of my brother. I got used to it after awhile."
"You're no longer in the background anymore, Gordon. Here you are, doing amazing things all on your own. Scott would be proud of you. I know I certainly am." Hilda leaned forward and pressed a kiss to Gordon's cheek. "For what it is worth, I believe you have grown into a fine man."
They reached the borders of Fynn without encountering too much trouble. Princess Hilda's hand slipped out of Gordon's as she was led inside the tent.
"Have Firion and his party arrived yet?" she asked as she was informed of what had transpired since she had been kidnapped.
"Not yet, princess. We are keeping a look out for them."
"Thank you." She smiled. "Excuse me for a moment, gentlemen. I wish to speak to Prince Gordon."
She found him at the edge of the rebel camp, looking out towards the water some distance away. Hilda placed her hand on his shoulder. "Gordon?"
Gordon turned to her and smiled. "Princess. What are you doing out here? It's not safe."
She arched her eyebrow at him. "I am within the camp and we just trekked here through wilderness and the sea filled with danger and monsters. I think I can safely assume I am in relative safety." Hilda reached out to link her fingers with Gordon's. "I wanted to talk to you."
"What would you like to talk about?"
"You. Us." Hilda let out a sigh. "The rebellion takes precedent over everything and I hope that one day soon we can all start anew. I had hoped that perhaps that one day I could start anew with you."
Gordon lifted Hilda's hand and kissed it. "I would enjoy that very much, Hilda. I know I'm not like my brother, but I wish to do you proud."
Hilda touched Gordon's cheek with her free hand. "I don't need you to be like Scott. I like you just the way you are."