He quickly entered his living room, throwing away his jacket. He felt desolated, as much as those leaves fallen from the trees to the pavement, he would be alone again. He had rejected her, the woman he loved.
The only solace left for him was that brandy bottle that had helped him so much through his problematic life. Brandy was all he could wish for in those moments. After Caro left, there was no reason to come home, the only one was Brandy. The same happened when Augustus, his poor son, died. At that time he had lost all hopes, life didn't mean anything to him, but not anymore.
Now he has found a new reason to live, a new reason to smile and bear with everything. He had found someone with whom he felt himself, but things were not that easy.
Life was not easy, it was not a fairytale, it was hard, stressing and unfair, very unfair.
Sooner or later he would be replaced, he would allow her to be happy, to enjoy life, to experience things with the right person. It would be unfair for her to be with him, he would never let himself take away her innocence.
He knew it was not right, he knew they could never be together, and yet he loved her as he hadn't loved a woman in ages.
That innocence, that smile, that strong and yet sweet personality, who would not fall in love? She had been the one brightening his days for 2 years now, since that beautiful day that changed his life. When they first met, at her study, he felt something he had not felt in ages.
But he would not take advantage of her, never. He would not be able to forgive himself if he ever did. As Sir John Conroy had told him 'You are a man, and she is a very young and impressionable woman'.
She was too young, incredibly young. She did not even knew what she meant. That night, after the ball she said she would like to 'dance' with him. Was she even aware of what her words mean? Was she aware of what she was truly asking for?
'I cannot bear it' He whispered. He could have shouted, yelled and broke things as there was no one in his house that day, as he had asked them to. But he felt as if he raised his voice it would break, he would break into tears and he wanted to stay strong. He wanted to stay strong for her, to know he was doing the right thing, he was letting her be free. And yet it did not feel right.
Since he entered that door of her study and saw her for the first time he realised she would be much more than a monarch for him, he could feel it. That young woman had changed his life in an unthinkable way. How would he bear not seeing her everyday? How would he bear not riding with her every morning? How would he bear not dinning with her every night? He simply could not.
He took a long sip of brandy and a single tear run along his tired face. He was tired and old, he was sure she deserved better, she deserved a young man, not him. The only thing he would give her were scandals and humiliations. But she did not think it this way.
Someone knocked at the door.
'Who is it? I said I am not at home, to anyone!' He nearly yelled. He was not in the right mood to have visits.
'It is Lady Portman. We told her to come up later but she said she would not move until she talks to you' The servant said.
'Let her come in' He whispered. He could not avoid Emma, he knew that. She was one of his closest friends and he knew her very well. She would get what she wanted, she would ask him about Victoria, he was sure.
Emma entered the study and saw him. William was sat in his desk, with an empty bottle of brandy by his side. She noticed he had been crying.
'Oh William! What happened?' The woman quickly walked towards him until she was besides him, sat in a chair too.
'Life happened, Emma. Life and its duties.'
'It is because of the queen, am I right? William, she is a very young woman, she is impulsive and irrational, but she loves you. I am not the only one who notices the way she looks at you. The entire Holland House calls her Mrs Melbourne.'
'I know she does, it does not change anything, alas. But it cannot be. It would be treason, it would be improper and I do not want to take advantage of her, she doesn't know what she wants. She does not even know what some things she says mean' He was desperate. Why couldn't Emma understand? Why couldn't she understand that there were more important things than his feelings or ever hers?
'But you deserve to be happy. I have also seen how you look at her. You look sad when you think she can not see you, but I can, I see how sad you look staring at her. There is no reason to be sad, she loves you and you love her, England be damned!'
Maybe she was right. He could just give in, it would be so easy, just to hug her and be sure she would always be by his side. So easy and yet impossible.
'I could be his father, I am forty years older than her. She should marry a prince and have a family her subjects can be proud of. I am a man of rather bad reputation, they will think I want to be with her to be king.' He sighed, frowning.' She has been warned about me. She has been told about my past, about my indiscretions...'
'But she still loves you, it meant nothing to her. She focusses on how you are with her, not what the rest of the world says. She would give everything up for you, William. Do not break her heart, please. I know that if you do so you will break your own heart too.'
'I do not think I would make her happy. She is so young, she deserves a gentleman, a man who is not twice her age. She always says that I am not old' He said with a sad laugher. 'But I am. I have lived for too long now. I have been married, I have seen my wife going away with another man, I have fathered two children and seen both of them pass away on my arms. The shadows of my past will not go away and she deserves a happy man, not a fading one'.
'Just go and talk to her. Believe me, I would never support treason but feelings are more important than duties' She smiled softly. Seeing William in this way made her sad, she loved him so much and knew how much he had suffered. He deserved nothing but happiness.
He would be the Prime Minister she deserved to have. He would follow what duty orders. He would be proper and help her as much as he could. At least that is what he expected of himself.