I'm sorry I have these writing kicks were I get all these ideas and have to let them out. I hope you enjoy this one shot.

Disclaimer: I own nothing

"I don't know, I said finally. "I don't know."

There was a pause, then he said, "I appreciate your honesty." He gave me a polite bow, a brief smile, and began to leave.

Relief washed over me until I felt it. The irritating prickle of his assessing gaze. I instinctively snapped.

"Why do you do that?" I demanded unable to disguise my hostility.

The Marquis turned on his heal to face me once more. He raised an eyebrow making me feel childlike and skittish. But it was too late for changing my mind. The words were out.

"Why do watch me?" I asked more controlled but no less bitter. Even as I set the first step I knew I would not like where this trail would lead me but I pressed on blindly. "What is it you're looking for? Do you think I do not feel you when you do it? Sizing me up. Judging me. It's obvious that I will never measure up."

I turned to the window so he wouldn't watch as my angry tears began to escape. Admitting my shortcomings took blows to my pride and even more so admitting them to him. I found some twisted comfort in knowing that alas I might be able to let these feelings to rest even if it disproved my pretexts for distrusting him. "You are snow. Cool. Crisp. Radiant. If I have any place next to you it is to serve as foil. A mere secondary character meant to highlight yours. I accept it. I don't need your constant reminder."

I expected him to deny my accusations and negate that he ever even glanced my way. I heard him take a couple steps towards me while keeping a safe distance.

"You would agree Countess," he began, his words tinged with the very poison the coated his looks. Every alarm within me screamed danger but there was no escape. "Snow on a sunless day is listless and unhappy, waiting only to serve its purpose and disappear. It is the sun that sets snow abright."

I searched his words for meaning while dispelling the thoughts that were making my chest too tight for my lungs. Still with each syllable his words ignited feelings that I could not shake. His poison seeped through my veins. I felt him come up behind me a place a hand on my shoulder turning me around.

"I do not wish you to be snow," he spoke in my ear. "For then I'd be without sun. I watch, Meliara, because I cannot resist. I'll endure your fire in faith that I may someday feel your warmth."

What could I say? Surely he could feel my attraction radiating in response to his. "Not afraid you'll melt?" I quipped lamely.

"I'll risk it."

He smiled appreciatively but in his eyes there was apprehension despite his amusement. He patiently waited for me to answer his implied question.

"Alright," I breathed, crimson.

He slipped his hand beneath my own. His thumb grazed over my fingers before raising them to his lips. "Alright," he murmured, my fingers quivering beneath the warmth of breath. He kissed each of my knuckles sending bursts of heat through my body.

I nodded. I'd take the risk too.