There are through time many lovers.

We all know them and their beauty.

So many have the happy endings we dream of.

But there are some that have a dark fate.

Their love grows true, pure, and strong.

Yet when their strength should be rewarded,

Cruel fate plays against them.

Death captures them in his icy grip.

Love fights for them.

Love gives them another chance.

Yet again and again, they are doomed.

These lovers we know them well

The Highwayman and his Bess

Romeo and Juliet

Hyman and Antigone

Tristan and Isolde

But at times…

At times, they find a way to defeat their dark fate…

Bess awoke with a start and stared around recalling herself for a moment. She was in her room in her father's inn. Bess sighed and looked down at her ring finger. The small silver band was simple, but she loved it. She loved it almost as much as she loved the highwayman who had not so long ago become her husband. A smile played at the corner of her lips as she thought about their wedding and the few nights that they had spent together since. Bess looked out the window trying to see if her beloved Charles was coming up the road, but couldn't see anything. She had been waiting for him all throughout the day since he had told her about a prize he was going for. She could only pray that the soldiers had not caught him. She knew they hadn't though. His spirit had not come to her to tell it was so and that gave her a little bit of hope.

The sound of horses and men came through the night and Bess felt a shudder of fear course through her. Bess moved away from the door praying they hadn't seen her. Praying they didn't know about her and Charles. Begging God that they would leave quickly for she had no way to escape and she wouldn't be able to stand it if something happened to her husband.

She heard the soldiers downstairs as they drank her father's ale and spoke loudly among themselves. She heard her father's protests, but she couldn't hear any replies to it. Did they say anything to him? Would they leave them in peace soon. She could only pray that it was so. Footsteps sounded on the stairs and Bess felt her heart begin to pound. Redcoat soldiers came into her room and cornered her with sniggers and leers. The caught her up roughly and one of the officers took her wedding ring from her finger. "Well now girl. It is true that you are his bride. Tie her to the bed."

"No!" Bess cried out as they bound her hands behind her and tied her to the foot of her bed. She could move. The ropes were tight and they chaffed. One of the men gagged her making sure that she couldn't make a sound. All but two of the soldiers left.

"Hand us your musket Wat," The one man ordered holding out his hand. The second soldier handed his companion his musket and they placed the musket under her breast and tied it there tight.

"Ye'll want to be careful lass. Don't want that gun discharging now do ye?" Wat giggled.

The first soldier removed the gag so he could kiss her soundly before retying tighter than before. "It's a pity Captain's said we can't have her. She must be a nice one for that bastard to have made her his wife."

"Aye, a pity," Wat said with a laugh.

Charles heard a shot split the air and spun his horse around without hesitation. He wanted to see Bess. He wanted nothing more than to be with the woman who had secretly become his wife not so long ago. He sent up a silent prayer to God to keep his beloved safe as he raced away from the inn. He raced through the night and into the next morning. At dawn he stopped off to whet his thirst with a drought of ale.

"Did ye hear Luke?" One of the patrons of the bar asked. "Down the road at Murray's…there's been death there has."

"What?" the second man said surprised. "Who told ye tha' like now?"

"'Twas Tim it was. Told me all about it. The redcoats went down to Murray's inn. Turns out his daughter was waiting for her lover. Died, shot in the chest. Poor last, she was so beautiful. 'Tis a rare treasure this world's lost."

The blood drained from Charles face and his fingers went limp. His Bess…his beloved wife…she was dead. She was gone. Rage tore through him and his threw his mug of ale away from him as he ran outside and jumped onto his horse. He rode hard back towards Murray's Inn, racked with grief as he shrieked defiant curses at God and the devil's that had killed his bonny Bess. As he rode, the first shot tore through his arm. He kept his arm high, the rapier glinting deadly in the sun. Then came a second, and a third, and more and more until he was riddled with grapeshot. He was thrown to the ground and lay there in his blood. Bess stood over him, smiling with the dark red love knot in her black hair.

"My sweet Charles," she whispered touching his cheek. His spirit reached out to touch her, but he felt himself being pulled away. "Where are you taking him?" Bess's spirit demanded staring at something out of his view.

"This fate awaits you again and again. I can no longer watch it. This cycle will be broken. I cannot live through it anymore." It was a feminine child-like voice that spoke. Charles's spirit looked stood in a hall. There were three paths, the way he had came, the way he was supposed to go, and the way that something was pushing him. "I don't want to repeat this cycle. It's happened for so many times now. Please…father…save yourself and mother in the next cycle…I want a chance to be born. Don't let them die this time."