Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy XII or its character Square-Enix does. I really wished I did, especially Balthier!

Author's note: Thanks for the reviews and I really would like more reviews. Here is chapter 4, enjoy and DON'T FORGET TO REVIEW!!!!

Chapter 4 Instinctive Reaction

"What do you mean we are meant for each other? And how can we be married?" Ashe asked outraged, her arms waving in front of her and she shook her head refusing to believe what was happening.

Rasler stared at Ashe with a smile on his divine lips and calmly said, "In time you will see. You are both tied together by an invisible string as husband and wife by me."

Vaan looked between Ashe and Balthier trying to see if there was really a string, he bend down and squinted his eyes in search of the string. After seeing there was no string he straighten up and said, "Where I don't see one."

Penelo went up to Vaan and smacked him upside the head with an ashamed look on her face. "Idiot! He said it was an invisible string."

Vaan shrugged his shoulders and had a sheepish expression on his face as he said, "Oh. I figured we would be able to see it since we can see him."

Everyone ignored Vaan and continued to look at Rasler expecting him to continue but he said nothing more. Ashe could no longer take Rasler being silent so she hurriedly huffed out, "How can I be tied to a philander! Why?"

Balthier stepped out of the corner where he was at and went forward to where Rasler stood. He still clutched the blanket around him and angrily said, "You're not the only one who is disappointed Princess! How do you think I feel being married?"

Ashe ignored him and continued to stare at Rasler pleading him with her eyes that this could not be true. "Please say you are joking Rasler."

Rasler shook his head and replied, "I'm sorry but this is not a joke. No matter what you do the ring will not come off. The only way you guys would not be married anymore is if one of you dies."

"If that is the only way to terminate this marriage then its no problem. I will just kill the sky pirate and everything will be fine Highness." Basch said to Ashe causing Balthier to back away in fright.

"Be reasonable Basch, I have choose Balthier to take my place for Ashe's own good. As captain to royalty you must obey my orders and my order is do not harm Balthier. That is all I have to say, farewell Ashenlia I will always love you." Rasler said as he prepared to leave but turned around to Balthier to tell him, "Take care of Ashenlia for me."

Balthier merely nodded his head still disbelieving what was happening. Ashe tried to grab Rasler's hand but could not. Tears spilled from her eyes as Rasler smiled at her he began to disappear and he told her, "Everything will work out. I might appear again to you, until then stay strong." With that said he vanished and everyone remained quiet.

The door to the room opened and Fran came in. Fran looked at all of them and asked, "What happened? Everyone is so sad."

Penelo looked at the Viera and told her, "Prince Rasler was just here, he said Balthier and Lady Ashe are married."

Fran's eyes widen at that and she asked, "Why in Ivalice would he say that?"

"Because this idiot here put Rasler's ring on and it will not come off now for Rasler has decided to make him my husband." Ashe angrily explained.

"Hey I am not an idiot. I was just curious about the ring. How was I to know I would end up married to you." Balthier said.

"Any another person would know better than to put on something that does not belong to them." Ashe retorted.

"Perhaps we should leave the newlyweds alone to speak." Fran suggested to Vaan, Penelo, and Basch.

The three agreed reluctantly and left Ashe and Balthier alone. Ashe and Balthier stood looking at each other unsure of what to say. After a moment Balthier turned around to get his clothes from the bed. He let the blanket fall, exposing his fine backside to Ashe. Ashe quickly turned around blushing red, she cleared her throat and hastily said, "Why didn't you warn me that you were going to let the blanket fall off?"

Balthier chuckled at Ashe's shyness while he put on his pants. "You can turn around now, I'm decent."

Ashe turned back around and saw that he was still shirtless. "I thought you said you were done?"

"I never said that. I said I was decent." Balthier retorted.

"You call that decent?" Ashe sarcastically said.

"Yes. You shouldn't get so fluster Princess, after all I'm your husband. I can strut around naked if I wish to." Balthier replied gathering his things from under the bed.

"I do not accept you being my husband. So refrain from going around naked in front of me." Ashe heatedly said.

"I did not ask to be your husband, Prince Rasler appointed me to be. Looks like we have no choice." Balthier impatiently said grabbing his gun from the chair.

"So what do you purpose we do?" Ashe asked crossing her arms over her chest staring at him.

"I suggest we forget the whole matter. You might as well forget about this ring since Prince Rasler said it will not come off no matter what we do." Balthier answered setting the gun on his strap, he then placed it on his back.

"I agree with forgetting the matter however I cannot just forget about the ring. I want it back." Ashe stubbornly said.

"I'm sorry but you have no another alternative but to forget about it. Why do you want it anyways if it brings back painfully memories?" Balthier stated.

"It's important to me even though the memories it evokes makes me sad." Ashe quietly said her eyes glazed with unshed tears and she ran out the door leaving Balthier stupefied at her reaction.

Balthier still stared at the door the Princess ran out of, he could not believe she took off like that. He felt guilty for making her miserable but how was he to give back her ring when it refused to come off. How could Prince Rasler do this to them? Maybe he was just joking with them and he would soon take the ring off. The bastard really had a lot of nerve making Princess Ashe sad.

Balthier was scowling at Prince Rasler's scheme so he did not hear the door opening. Fran stood in the doorway looking at Balthier with a worried expression on her face. "Did you work everything out with your wife?"

Looking up to see Fran standing there, Balthier smirked at her and said, "Very funny Fran. We decided to ignore what Prince Rasler said."

"Are you sure that is wise? You should reconsider what Prince Rasler said." Fran remarked.

Waving his hand to brush her remark away he said, "There is nothing to consider. The Princess and I have no feelings for each other whatsoever. Besides the ghost Prince has no way of forcing us to stay together, we may wear the rings but they signify nothing."

Fran still looked unconvinced but said nothing more, she knew Balthier would not listen. Balthier walked out of the door and turned to her ask, "Are we leaving to Jahara already?"

Fran shook her head causing her ears to bounce as she said, "No we are not leaving to Jahara today. The Princess has cancelled the trip to rest, due to her husband telling her she is married to you."

Balthier frowned and said, "I guess it is better this way anyways. Let's get a drink to forget this little encounter."

Fran nodded in agreement and followed after Balthier to the Sandsea Bar. Balthier passed Ashe's door and heard her muffled cries. He had the overwhelming feeling of wanting to go in and comfort her. He fought the feeling however the ring began to burn his finger. Balthier stopped walking and glanced down at the ring. The ring glowed bright red and it continued to get hotter. He brought his hand up to his mouth to blow on it but it was no help. Fran noticed what Balthier was doing and shook her head at his stubbornness.

"I think the ring is trying to tell you to go to Princess Ashe." Fran said.

"No. I am going to get a drink not have a Princess slap me around for putting on her ring." Balthier gruffly said.

"Then I fear your finger will be burned for your stubbornness." Fran replied.

Balthier gave up blowing on the ring and turned to walk into Princess Ashe's room leaving Fran outside in the hall. Fran decided to go to the Sandsea to drink alone, she had the feeling that Balthier would take a while comforting the Princess. When Balthier was inside the room he found Ashe laying on the bed facedown crying into a pillow that looked wet with all the tears she shed.

Balthier went to sit on the bed and cleared his throat causing Ashe to stop crying. Ashe picked her head up to glare at him and Balthier noticed the ring no longer burned him. "What do you want? Can't you leave me alone."

"I would like to but I can't because the ring burns me if I ignore your cries." Balthier said.

"Good because its your fault I'm crying in the first place." Ashe spat out.

"It is not my fault, it's Prince Rasler's fault. Remember he is the one who is keeping this ring struck to me." Balthier calmly replied.

" I don't want to get into this, I'm fine now. Just go away, I don't want to see you right now." Ashe replied falling back into the pillow.

"Listen I know you are not fine, just hit me if that makes you feel better." Balthier said.

Ashe sat up at once and stared at him with a wicked smile appearing on her lips. "Are you sure I can?"

Balthier gritted his teeth and nodded knowing he would regret it. He prepared himself for a slap by closing his eyes, he waited and none came to him. Instead he felt Ashe push him down to the bed and he felt her soft body get atop of him. He opened his eyes right away surprised she was doing this.

"I didn't expect you to do this." Balthier said smirking up at Ashe.

Ashe did not say anything she raised her hands and formed them into fists. She began to hit Balthier on the chest. Balthier said right away, "Whoa, whoa what are you doing? I told you could slap me not pound me to death."

Ashe ignored him as she continued to hit him. Balthier tried grabbing her hands but her hands dodged his. Balthier flipped Ashe onto her back on the bed and this time he was on top her. Ashe still refused to stop hitting him so Balthier grab onto her arms and placed them over her head. "Really now Princess you should stop acting so childish."

"I was just getting started. You said you wanted me to feel better and I do feel better when I hit you." Ashe heatedly said, her chest rising and falling from exhaustion.

"I only meant one slap not a continuation of punches." Balthier answered.

"Fine I will not hit you anymore. Get off me now before I change my mind." Ashe bitterly said trying to get out from under him.

Balthier felt desire spread through him as he looked over Ashe's flush cheeks, quivering full pink lips, and her firm breasts rising up and down. Letting desire control him he bent down to kiss her lips without thinking twice. When he captured her lips he felt his desire flare even more for her lips were softer than any other woman he had kissed. He felt Ashe stifled under him when he pressed his lips to hers in yearning but she then responded by kissing him back. Her kiss was just as ravenous as his and he wrapped his arms around her waist pulling her closer to him. Ashe put her arms around his neck and she wrapped her legs around his hips. Balthier felt his erection rise in responds to her action and he let his hands grasp her breasts. Ashe moaned with pleasure from his touch and she arched her breasts into his hands. Balthier slide his fingers into her blouse to tease her hard nipples. Balthier broke the kiss to trail kisses on the expose swells of her breasts. Ashe's head fell back on the pillow while her hands trailed over his chest.

Balthier stopped his exploration to glance at Ashe, she met his gaze and he saw a fire of desire in her eyes. He knew she would allow him to go all the way but he did not want to take her like this when she was feeling confuse. Hell he was feeling confuse, he was not suppose to be doing this. Balthier grabbed her legs and almost felt his self control leave him again however he managed to get out of her legs' embrace. He got off her and stood up feeling blood rushing down to his sleeping feet.

"I'm sorry Princess but I cannot, I must go." Balthier muttered to Ashe as he left the room. Ashe dazedly looked after him as he left.

Ashe did not expect to react that way to Balthier's touch, much less him leaving her wanting his caress more than anything else. Why did he stop? She knew he felt her responds to his touch and kiss, she would have gone all the way so why did he leave? This sky pirate really loved playing with her.

Balthier leaned against Ashe's door trying to think cold thoughts so his erection would go down. But all he could think about was the way Ashe felt under him and the way she tasted. He felt like an idiot for leaving without finishing. It was beyond him why he would stop from taking her, he just could not continue even though she invited his caress. What he needed was a cool refreshing drink to rid his mind of these troubling thoughts. Once his erection was down he made his way to the Sandsea to drink his troubles away.

Author's note: Well are you happy this chapter is longer? Heh, I got carried but don't expect all the chapters to be this long, you'll never know I might make the next chapter longer or shorter depending on how much time I have to write it and my mood! REMEMBER TO REVIEW!!!!