The port was alive with strange faces. It was dawn by the time he found an old salt willing to part with a vessel for what bullion he had left, a cutter with a Bermuda rig called the Merciful, the sails ragged and ripped, its compass cracked, its rotten hull just barely able to cut the breakers. But it would be enough to make his escape.
It wasn't for another hour, when he was a mile from the docks, that his thoughts turned back to her, he imagined her alone. By then, she would have searched the house and found it empty. She had suspected it all along, and now she knew, he was a coward. A coward dressed in the uniform of a brave man. Brave enough to cross two oceans and a continent to find her, to fight countless enemies, and yet, in the end he was terrified. Terrified of her.
To lie beside her, to be comforted by her as he wept, to show her he was small, for her to know that and touch his cheek and whisper words softly into his ear, all of that was a nightmare. All he knew to do was run. But now, here, he was free.
He took a deep breath of the air, tasting the salt on his tongue and closed his eyes, leaning into the spray as the Merciful picked up speed and sailed for the horizon. He was alone and all was well, he did not have her and he did not want her, he had this, and this was enough. Always, he would have the sea.