She didn't expect it, at the beginning, placing quill to paper. That instead of writing a political statement of apology she would be pouring out her heart and her shame. Well, she decided glumly, they were probably the same thing.

--

She supposed it never was love. More like lust. He was a Sky Pirate, she was a Princess. He was funny and intelligent and quick-witted, and he indulged her in his secrets first, at the Phon Coast with the sun behind his face and the faint ridge of a chain necklace visible beneath his collar.

It must have been lust, on her side. But on his side, it must have been a game. Kind of like the rows-of-dots game she used to play in the palace as a child. You have to line your pieces up correctly and whoever does first wins. She used to verse him, Rasler, all the time, but he would always win.

She was always too concentrated on her pieces, to notice in which direction his were moving.

It must have been the same. She always wanted the same thing, and the Pirate was just sitting back and watching, carefully registering her movements and not making his own. She never understood why. Wouldn't this be the greatest bounty, the greatest treasure he could hope for? To tell all his friends at the Tavern that he conquered the Should-Be Queen of Dalmasca?

She should have known, should have realised. And it wasn't until she stumbled upon them looking for the Pirate's room, smooth white skin against desert tanned and dusty lashes closed and wanting and light glinting off rings as large hands clasped smaller ones in a tight unrelenting grip, found them together, the Desert Rat and the Pirate.

--

She never did, give the formal apology. She instead made it her memoirs. And at the top of her list she knew what to write.

#1. Never, tell a Sky Pirate you want them. They will always go after what they know they can't have.