The night was warm and quiet yet filled with anticipation. Anna and King Mongkut spoke for a brief moment before coming together for presumably their last dance.
Anna felt very safe and loved in his arms. She knew this would be the last time she would let her guard down completely, no matter the consequences.
The last time she would allow her feelings for him to show, this moment, not a second longer.
It did not matter that she wanted to shout to the heavens above and let everyone know: this King, this leader of a nation, this man was the one she would; if circumstances permitted, share the rest of her life with.
Mongkuts' hands so secure pulled her closer to him. She laid her head on his chest and drew comfort in the sound of his beating heart.
"You are well Ma'am?" he whispers in her ear; making Anna shiver, as she never has.
"Yes, your Majesty," she replies her voice trembling.
"I... am saddened by your departure," he tells her.
Anna pulls away from him, still in his embrace. They have stopped dancing, yet his hand still clasps hers.
"I... must go your Majesty," she says as her heart pounds beneath her breast.
She has to.
She could not trust herself any longer. The urge to be with him is overpowering.
The longer she stayed in his arms, the harder it would be to leave him, and she knew she would give herself to him willingly.
He brings her hand up and kisses her palm. "If I asked you not to leave Ma'am, would you stay?" his voice husky, filled with want.
Anna's heart clenches.
It is not fair of him to ask, when he knows the answer.
His dark brown eyes burn with intensity she has never seen.
It takes her breath away.
Her eyes close as he brings his face closer to hers. She gasps when his lips first touch hers.
It is tentative as if he were wondering if she would reject him.
Did he not know?
How would he? She answers silently.
She has not shown him.
Anna slowly moves her hand up his chest, bringing him closer as she responds.
She is not sure how long they are there, time stands still. If it is not for the discreet cough Anna believes she and the King could stay locked in each other's embrace the entire night.
She lays her head on his chest as he regretfully breaks the kiss.
"I am sorry your Majesty but it is time."
Anna can not stop the tears; that fill her eyes, from spilling down her cheeks.
She damns her heart for awakening. For allowing her to find love once again only to have it ripped from her grasp.
Mongkut slowly raises her face, "I shall be there momentarily," he says without breaking his gaze. "No tears Ma'am... please Anna," he pleas as he brushes them away with his thumbs.
She smiles bitter-sweetly. "I will endeavor your Majesty."
He looks at her longingly and she realizes this is as difficult for him as it is for her.
Mongkut shakes his head, "There are so many things I wished I Has shared with you Anna," he says softly. "So many things I wish I could tell you..."
"It is not the time..." she interrupts.
"Nor the placek... but it is my fondest wish to have been truly yours Ma'am," he kisses her one last time pouring all his emotions into it leaving her weak and loved.
He takes her arm and links it into his and escorts her back to the dinning hall. He bows and leaves.
Anna does not know how she got back to the house, nor does she remember undressing, only waking as the sun shone into her eyes.
Has it all been a dream? She wonders as she brings her fingers to her lips. The slight tremble she feels when she closes her eyes serves as a reminder of what was, and what could never be.