Ok guys, here's a fanfic from me. A one shot of what may have been running through Akkarin's head at the point near the Sachaka border (going into exile) when Sonea looks up and, for a brief moment, sees the look of bitterness and frustration on Akkarin's face.

Akkarin PoV

Akkarin turned his gaze away from the horizon, where both Imardin and the guild lay. Dragging his eyes away, he knew there was little point in thinking of 'what-ifs' and 'if-onlys' and the angry thoughts of Lord Balkan. Instead he found his eyes drifting to where they often had over the last few days; to Sonea.

Perhaps it was because he had nothing else to occupy his mind apart from his inevitable return to Sachaka, something he would rather not think about. He mentally scoffed at this explanation and told himself that he knew exactly why he was watching her, and it had nothing to do with Sachaka or the memories it brought with it.

His eyes fell on her and his stomach twisted painfully when he saw the tears threatening to fall from her dark eyes, beautiful eyes that shouldn't be glistening with tears but sparkling with laughter. He knew he was the cause of that. It was his fault that she had been taken away from her home, the guild, the people she liked, her friends, her family; it was all because of him.

His stomach gave another jerk as he watched her close her eyes, trying to clear her head of whatever thoughts plagued her mind and to will the tears not to fall. If only he hadn't taught her black magic, if only he stuck by his first decision, then she would be back in the guild where she belonged, with a future, a chance to be something great, not expelled and sent into exile with him. This shouldn't be her future.

A small part of him rejected this, filling with anger at such thoughts. Why was it his fault? She wanted to learn black magic, she knew the consequences, and had turned down the gentler alternative. She deliberately disobeyed his instructions, instructions that would have saved her from the wrath of the guild. She would have been seen only as his victim rather than his willing partner in crime. He didn't know why she chose to follow him into exile (though he knew what he wished her reason was) but it was pointless. It had turned his original plan, not to mention a large part of his concentration, into ruins.

Another, larger part of him sneered at this reasoning. This was rich of him; trying to blame Sonea for this. First he took her away from a man she looked up to and loved as a father, forcing her to live with him, whom she feared and hated. He had allowed her to be harassed and bullied by her peers, making her life a misery. Then he had taught her forbidden magic (against his own better judgement), which had lead to her being expelled and exiled and now he was trying to blame it all on her; and he thought he loved her!

He halted this trail of thought: he shouldn't start thinking about that now. He had been forced to admit to himself that, despite his efforts to prevent it, he had fallen in love with Sonea. He tried to turn his mind away from these thoughts; it didn't matter if he loved her or not, he couldn't act on his feelings, it would be … wrong, immoral. He was 13 years her senior, not to mention he was - had been - her guardian. He was responsible for her, should be looking out for her welfare, not an opportunity to bed her. Then there was her. He swallowed as he remembered his last love. What about her? Wasn't he supposed to love her? But she had been killed over 5 years ago, just like Sonea could be killed any day now.

That thought made him feel cold. Yes, remaining distant would be safest. Not that it really mattered, he thought, feeling his heart sink slightly. She wouldn't feel the same way. But then why had she followed him here if it wasn't love? He struggled against the rising hope he felt. It was more likely to be due to some type of misplaced loyalty, not love.

However, the rising hope also lead him to realise something, something that disturbed him more then any other feelings he felt when he looked at her. It was more frustrating than the guilt of taking her away from her life, greater than the anger that he felt at her throwing away her life, greater than his conflicting emotions about loving her. It was the happiness. He was happy and thankful that she was here with him, that he wouldn't have to enter Sachaka alone, and that he would be able to be with her everyday and watch her while she slept. He was glad that she had thrown away her life, her future; that he had caused her to throw away her future, so that he could enjoy her company in Sachaka, and he hated himself for being so selfish. He had caused the ruin of her life. What right did he have to ask for her love in return?

He saw her open her eyes and look away from the horizon. He quickly schooled his features into a mask of indifference and forced himself to look away. None; he had no right to seek her love.

End