Just a Taste
Balthier stood before his party, thoughtful, and ignoring the waiting glares coming from them. He was beginning to wonder if he would burst into flame at any moment from the way they stared at him. He wasn't sure he appreciated it, but then again, perhaps they were all inwardly cursing him for being hunted down by Ba'Gamnan. It was because of him that they were in the Skycity in the first place. Penelo had been rescued, but there was still one other that needed to be accounted for.
"We must go to Cloudborne Row before we depart," he suddenly announced, sliding his hands deep into his pockets. "She is there."
"Who's there?" Vaan asked, curious.
Balthier turned to the younger boy. "Anaya, the other woman that Ba'Gamnan decided to use as bait against me. You heard of her shortly in Rabanastre from your friend Migelo." He sighed in disgust, shaking his head and staring down at his feet. "Fool of a woman. I should have known better than to leave her behind. Of course she would chase after me. I will never hear the end of it."
"She waits for you," Fran said, coming up beside the male sky pirate. "The more we linger, the angrier she becomes."
Balthier sighed and hung his head. "Quite right." He turned over his shoulder. "You aren't required to accompany me if you don't wish to. We can simply meet back at the Aerodome in an hour. I can retrieve Anaya on my own."
Vaan smirked and rested his hands on his waist, staring at the sky pirate slyly. "Well, I want to meet her. I think we should all go and see who this mystery woman is. You never mentioned her, Balthier."
"That's how I intended it," he replied, casting the boy a sideways glance. He walked down Lhusu Square, prepared to leave the Lhusu Mines behind, as well as the secret fear he kept deep within himself of something terrible befalling Anaya had he arrived moments too late.
Cloudborne Row was bustling with loud and near-drunk patrons. Balthier could hear the tapping of shoes against the pavement as they came to a stop in front of the pub, The Cloudborne.
"What makes you think she is here?" Basch asked, folding his arms over his chest.
Balthier couldn't hide his smirk. "She is a performer, not to mention she was an avid traveler before I met her. She no doubt knows the owners of this establishment and has fled here in wait for me. She knows I will come for her here." He waved his hand and walked to the door. "Come. It would be best to get this over with." But he hesitated. He lowered his head and sighed, turning back over his shoulder. "I should warn you that this may not be pretty. Anaya and I did not depart on the most pleasant of circumstances."
The others had no chance to ask the sky pirate for elaboration, as he thrust the door open, getting slammed with the smell of alcohol and the sound of music blaring from the band in the back corner of the establishment.
As soon as he took the first step through the door, the music poured into his ears, drawing him in. There was a vast mixture of smells in the building, mostly from the Bhujerban madhu that was so popular in these parts.
However, he could still smell her. She smelled sweet and luscious like wineblossoms that grew in wealth at the Cerobi Steppe, as if she thoroughly rolled around in them. Her sweet scent was quite easy to pick up in the midst of sour alcohol stemming from the many drunkards loitering around.
Impure thoughts flew through his head. He had yet to spot her after all this time, and already he was thinking about bedding her. His arrogance rose to the challenge. He knew how angry she would be. It was because of him that she was left behind, that she became ensnared by that fool Ba'Gamnan.
He feared he would be near to begging for her forgiveness at this rate.
Balthier suddenly found himself staring up at the woman he came all this way to save, dancing about on the small stage across from the noisome band.
Auburn hair fell in waves over her shoulders as she twirled around, dancing for the many patrons whose attention was snared. Long earrings dangled against her neck, gems glistening in the overhead lanterns. She was wearing a short black skirt with lace netting over it, doing no justice to cover the peach sheen of her legs. The gray-blue frilled tank top was no better. It only opened dark paths in his imagination. He could only imagine what the other men in the room were thinking.
Shaking off the rising taste of jealousy, Balthier took wide strides forward, feeling his comrades keep a close proximity. He excused himself as he slid through the small crowd until he came to a stop at the bottom of the stage, just in time for the music to come to an end. Thunderous applause and masculine whooping erupted in the building, threatening to shake the wooden walls from the mere sound.
Her amber eyes, flaring in an intense emotion Balthier could only guess to be anger, burned through him like wildfire. Yes, he was certain he could feel his skin sparking with flame. Her brows furrowed and she made her way to the other side of the stage, slowly climbing down the stairs. Many of the men greeted her and gushed how talented she was, but she only nodded numbly at them as she walked over to Balthier.
"You arrived sooner than I expected, Balthier. Worried about what Ba'Gamnan was going to do to me had you taken your sweet time?" she asked, placing a hand on a curved, jutted hip.
Balthier ignored the sarcasm in her voice. "That fool wouldn't know what to do with you even if someone knocked him over the head with a stone slab stating so," he replied, folding his arms over his chest. His eyes hurriedly traveled over her body, searching for any form of previous injury. "It appears as if you are well. Are you?"
"As well as can be expected given the circumstances," Anaya said, grinding her teeth. "Being kidnapped by four bounty hunters hardly warrants a good mood, so excuse me if I'm rather short with you. But then again, I have previous reasons for that."
"That is something you and I can discuss in private," Balthier quickly pointed out, frowning.
"Aren't you going to introduce us?" Vaan suddenly inquired, taking a step towards the feuding duo.
Balthier shook his head with a heavy sigh. "Do forgive me. It is poor etiquette not to introduce someone to one's present comrades." He cleared his throat and looked at Anaya, who appeared to be growing less patient by the minute. "This is Vaan, Penelo's friend, and—"
"Captain fon Ronsenburg," Anaya interrupted. "I already know. It's not hard to recognize the former hero of Dalmasca. However, everyone was under the deep impression you had died for murderous treason against the king."
"The truth has been shrouded of late," Basch replied calmly, shaking his head. "I have not committed such a dark deed."
Anaya was silent for a moment. "I never thought otherwise. I am sure there is a perfectly good explanation for what has happened, but now would not be the most opportune of moments to discuss it. I am not one to dwell on gossip. Know that you are in my good graces, Captain."
"Please, call me Basch, ma'am. I feel we are going to be on more personal terms from now on," he said, bowing his head to her.
Chuckling, she nodded. "Very well." She shot Balthier a sideways glance. "I am Anaya-Rinne K'adaell, but you may simply call me Anaya."
"K'adaell?" Basch asked, eyes widening slightly. "That is the last name of one of the Rabanastran Imperial Senators."
Anaya sighed deeply. "Yes, I fear it so. That would be my father, Leineir K'adaell. He is as blind as a bloodwing to what is going on with Vayne. He makes himself believe whatever will ease him to the dark ambitions the Solidor heir has for Ivalice. Either way, speaking of my father and Vayne both make me ill. Perhaps we should find a place to sit down and have a drink."
"They may do what they wish, but you and I have things to discuss," Balthier pointed out. He reached forward, snatching Anaya's wrist. "And I would prefer to do it now rather than spare yet another moment that will cause your patience to dwindle."
Anaya tried to jerk her wrist out of his grasp, but Balthier would have none of it. Sighing in defeat, she pointed to a staircase on the other side of the bar. "Come this way, then. I rented out a room on the second floor. We can speak there." She turned to Vaan, Fran and Basch. "We will be returning soon. Enjoy a drink or two on me." She flashed a quick smile and felt Balthier tug on her wrist, leading her to the second floor of The Cloudborne.
As soon as they rounded the corner at the top, Anaya finally wrought her wrist free and kept her eyes averted from the sky pirate. She came to a stop at one of the doors, pulling a key out of her shirt to slide through the keyhole. "I hope you are not expecting me to gush for your valiant rescue of me. In case you hadn't noticed, I am rather furious with you at the moment." She thrust the door open and walked inside, feeling Balthier hot on her heels.
"That is quite obvious," Balthier sighed, shutting the door behind him. "You know my reasons for leaving you behind."
Anaya shot him a glare that could have pierced through him sharper than any blade. "You were frightened that something untoward would happen to me when you sought out the Goddess' Magicite in the Palace of Rabanastre? Please, Balthier. You have grown far too soft," she snapped. She folded her arms over her chest. "I know Rabanastre like the back of my hand." Her eyes widened at a sudden realization. "Or did you think I was a liability because I am so well-known throughout the palace as the daughter of an imperial senator? Is that it?"
"Don't be daft," Balthier groaned. "That has nothing to do with it. I thought I was doing you a service. You had no care to return to Rabanastre. You left there with good reason. I expected it was to be left in your past, not to mention I knew that Ba'Gamnan has been readily seeking me out. He knew nothing about you and I, or so I thought." He rested his hands on his waist and sighed, shaking his head. "He would not have targeted you unless he knew otherwise. Perhaps he is not quite as foolish as I thought he was."
The auburn-haired woman stood silent, her expression telling the sky pirate all he needed to know. She was none too pleased with his explanation. "Well, a fat lot of good that did you by leaving me behind. Did you really believe I was not going to pursue you? I'm hardly one to be left behind, especially after your proposal."
"I hardly wish to defend my decision, but you are making that rather difficult at the moment," Balthier pointed out. "I did not try to woo you with pretty words and declarations of love. They were true. I meant every single word. Do you believe it beneath me that I wish to protect the woman I love from my enemies? Ba'Gamnan is ruthless. He could have done anything to you had I not made haste here."
Anaya's expression softened. "I can take care of myself. Ba'Gamnan wouldn't have been able to hurt me."
"Did he?" Balthier asked, interrupting her. He kept his gaze lowered to the floor. "Did he harm you in any way when he kidnapped you?"
She opened her mouth, but closed it again, sighing deeply through her nose. "He knocked me out. Giruk used a silence spell on me so I couldn't use my magicks, and then put me to sleep. It was too quick and unexpected. I could do little to stop them. It was four against one, just the kind of odds Ba'Gamnan enjoys." She closed her eyes, reliving the moment in her mind. It was one of the only times in her life she'd been truly scared, when she wished Balthier had been there to help her. But she hardly wished to tell him that.
A warm hand cupped her cheek, lifting her head. "I failed to protect you, and I will be haunted with that regret for the rest of my life," Balthier replied softly, shaking his head. "Forgive me. I thought I was doing the right thing, but it appears I made a grave mistake. You would have been far safer at my side."
Anaya leaned in to his palm, the warmth welcoming to her like a forgotten season. "You're not getting off that easy, but I will let it go for now. There are more pressing things for us to deal with, it seems."
"Indeed there are." He wrapped an arm around her waist, jerking her against his body. "And the first we will take care of right now."
Eyes widened, Anaya felt Balthier's hot mouth press urgently against hers. The force of his body was enough to send her careening into the wall, but instead, he eased her against the single cot in the corner of the room. A broad, calloused hand cupped over her breast while his other arm steadied her towards the mattress.
The sky pirate slid his tongue into the warm recesses of his lover's mouth, tasting her sweetness nearly forgotten. Impatience reigned as he began tearing at her clothes, uncaring of the state in which they were in once he removed them from her body. They were an unnecessary hindrance.
Anaya jerked away from the kiss, gasping for air and moaning as the cool breeze from the nearby window waved into her nakedness. She watched Balthier hover above her, hands ripping his vest and shirt from his chest before making short work of his trousers.
"Too long I have been apart from you," he rasped, dipping down to graze his lips against hers as he spoke. "Never again. You shall not be leaving my sight from now on."
"Is that a promise?" Anaya asked, eyes lidded in unspoken desire.
A chuckle rumbled deep within the sky pirate's throat. "Darling, it will be whatever you want it to be. But know that it's something I intend to keep." He lowered his body against hers, his skin hot as it grazed gently over her. He felt her jerk against him, but whether it was from the feel of flesh against flesh, or the fact his erection was pressed dangerously close to the juncture of her legs, he didn't care. He liked to believe it was a combination of both.
She released a moan. "Balthier… Your friends…"
"They are more than preoccupied with food and drink by now," he interrupted, rubbing a nipple under his thumb. She bit down on her lip. He frowned and pinched her this time, causing her to cry out. "And you will do none of that. I want to hear every noise you make. There is far too much commotion downstairs. No one shall hear you." He bent down, sliding his tongue along her bottom lip just after her teeth released it. "Yes, no one shall hear you but me."
With his final declaration, he dipped a hand in between her legs, momentarily replacing the teasing touches of his erection. His fingers played at her wet core, testing her readiness, teasing her into oblivion.
"Balthier, please," she begged, nearly pouting as he slid a finger within her pulsing heat.
The sky pirate gave her a menacing grin. "Yes, darling? Tell me what you desire. Tell me what you want me to do to you."
"You—you know what I want," she stammered, frowning at his insistence on teasing her to the edge of insanity.
His grin curved into a wicked sort, one he was well-known for. "Shall I do to you what only I am able to do?" His finger slid further into her depths, causing her body to arch into his hand. "Shall I make you a slave to your own body? A slave to my touches?"
"Damned sky pirate," Anaya hissed, reaching to dig her fingers into his shoulders. Her frown quickly dissolved into another moan as he slid a second digit within her. "You… better not stop."
Balthier's chuckle was one full of delight. "Oh sweetheart, I would never dream of it." His fingers moved within her to a silent rhythm in his mind; he was bent on seeing her writhe beneath him until she cried for her undoing. He would see to it.
"Not enough," she gasped, snapping her head to the side. "Not enough. Please."
"Hmmm," was all Balthier had to say at her pleads. He slowly pulled his fingers from her depths, sliding his digits into his mouth to taste the very essence of his lover. She was as sweet as the Bhujerban madhu that frequented these parts, the first taste making him hunger for more. "Tell me what you want, darling."
"You. I want you," she quickly moaned, her face contorting into a pout.
He slid his tongue over his lips, taking in the remnants of her taste from his mouth. "How do you want me? Tell me, Anaya."
She scoffed in impatience and scowled at him. "I want you inside me," she rasped, immediately giving in. She hardly gave a care that her pride had all but disappeared in that single moment. The desires ringing in her mind were far too loud to ignore. She needed him.
Balthier flashed a satisfied smirk, nodding once in understanding. And with that, he fell in a comfortable position between her legs, sheathing himself quickly within her heat.
She drew a hiss of air through her teeth at the satisfaction of him filling her emptiness. He hovered over her, his hands rested on either side of her head, as he began a slow waltz meant to torture and tease her all at once.
Feeling her sliding against him was like a sweet surrender; he suddenly had to wonder why he left her in the first place. Archades was rightfully his place of birth, but here, his body rocking slowly against hers… This was home.
Balthier watched the wanton woman reach behind her, clutching the smooth woodwork of the headboard as a means to steady herself while he continually sped up his movements against her. And that's when she looked up at him, amber eyes swimming in molten warmth as every nerve-ending in her body seemed to scream for him.
She heaved a shaky sigh, the force of his thrusts now demanding, reaching into a part of her body that only he could find. The gleam of her skin from the hanging lanterns was nearly intoxicating. He wanted to rove his fingers, his lips, over every inch of her body, feel her shudder under his mouth and listen to the sweet cries of his name on her tongue.
Well, he could surely arrange that to satisfy his own wants.
Anaya watched with heated interest as Balthier lowered himself upon her, his lower half unrelenting to the torture it weaved over the entrance to her body. He kept one hand firm on the mattress, the pillows long tossed from the bed. A toothy smirk covered his mouth before he leaned down, trailing open-mouthed kisses along the column of her neck.
She was quick to respond, craning her head to the side to give him better access. He grazed his mouth over her supple flesh, dipping his tongue in teasing circles. His free hand found her breast, cupping it as if it were cast from his very palm. He sifted her nipple in between his fingers, tweaking, pinching, rubbing, until he had her panting.
"Balthier, please," she breathed, her cheeks flushed crimson and her hair fanned about her shoulders, molten auburn mixed with strewn gold and soft almond.
He brushed the silken locks from her body, replacing the blanket her hair once was with his mouth. "Relax, darling," he rasped against her skin, his lips playing over her thundering heart. "I will get you there."
She responded with an impatient moan. She knew he was more than capable of weaving such seduction over her, but she simply was not one to wait through his teasing. One of her hands finally unhitched from the headboard to lock around his body. Her fingernails dug into his back, searing vivid red crescents in their wake.
Groaning, Balthier bit down on the tender muscle where her neck met her shoulder. "Ahh, I do so enjoy when you do that," he admitted, swirling his tongue over the area he'd gently nibbled.
Anaya jerked against him. He knew the weak parts of her body as if they were his own. The juncture between her neck and shoulder was one of them, and now he was biting, kissing, licking that specific area to the point of sweet aggravation. She knew exactly what he was doing. He wanted to push her violently to the edge of her climax, and do everything he could to leave her teetering there.
At least, she hoped that's what he was going to do.
Balthier's lower body ached, even as it thrust carelessly against the sweet juncture of her legs. He could feel his end burning up inside him, threatening to snap like a twig at any moment. His motions became more demanding, speeding up and reaching to the hilt of her body.
Anaya responded, meeting his thrusts with jerks of her own, eager and hungry for her release to wash over her like a grand rain. Her muscles clenched around him maddeningly, her back arching off the mattress as she moaned just how good it felt for him to connect their bodies as one.
Warmth spread throughout her body, heating the very tips of her toes and fingers, as the pleasure began to mount. She knew the climb would be short, but would certainly be sweet.
Her fingers threatened to draw blood when he thrust in just the right spot. She cried out in gratitude, his name pouring from her lips like one of worship. "So close, so close…"
Balthier closed his eyes for but a moment, savoring the feel of her hot, sticky body against his as he continued to pump erratically within her, as if he lived for nothing else but the sound of her breathless moans, the rocking of her hips against him, the parting of her cherry lips as they whispered his name.
She cried out again, this time louder, prompting him to open his eyes and gaze down upon her. Her hand had long left the headboard, now clutching the sheets beneath them and her face contorted.
Yes, she was dangerously close now. She just needed the right push.
If he were a vindictive man, he would have chosen that time to stop, leaving her to writhe as she strived to keep what pleasure he'd built up within her. But then again, he was not a patient man, so stopping now was out of the question. He needed his release just as badly as she needed hers.
And he knew exactly what to do.
His hand dipped between their bodies, finding the seat of their joining. She stared at him, knowing what his plan was, but made no verbal complaints. His thumb found the bud of nerves, responsive and aching to be touched. He rubbed her back and forth, up and down, until words were nonexistent on her tongue. All he heard were moans, groans and feminine grunts as she searched for her pleasure.
"Come for me, darling," he urged quietly, seduction seeping from his voice like chocolate. "I want to see you surrender."
All she could moan was the first syllable of his name as he thrust again and pinched her nub at the same time, throwing her straight into the earth-shattering orgasm she had been waiting for since the first moment he rested her on the bed. Her back arched up in response and she convulsed around him, her warmth spilling around her like liquid fire.
Watching her dance under him, riding out the waves of her orgasm, could only push him straight into a climax of his own. He groaned her name and jerked several more thrusts inside of his lover's body, pumping his seed deep into her womb until he no longer had the strength to move.
Beads of sweat trickled down his face as he gathered his wits as well as his breath. He halted his movements and collapsed atop her, feeling her fingers unhinge from his back and make their way into the damp ends of his sand-blonde hair. She leaned up and pressed a lazy kiss against the side of his mouth, tasting the salty sweat that lingered on his skin.
He wrapped his arms around her shoulders and gently rolled them onto their sides into a more comfortable position, leaving himself sheathed within her. She moaned contently and nuzzled into his side, completely sated and exhausted. He kept his arms wrapped loosely around her back, unsure of whether he wished to let her go quite yet. The smell of their sex wafted the room, the slick glean of her skin hot and welcoming to the touch.
No, he was certain his comrades could wait a good deal longer before he returned to them. For now, basking in the afterglow of his lovemaking with the woman he flew all this way to save seemed to be the only thing that mattered.
"You know, I just about despised you when we first met," Anaya announced, turning up to look at him. It had been close to thirty minutes since they finished their passionate round of lovemaking. Balthier had her cradled gently in his arms, reveling in the feel of her sex-afterglow skin against his own.
Balthier smirked at her sudden statement. "Fine time to bring that up, as you lie naked in my arms after making love," he replied wryly. He ran his fingers through her hair, red tinted with strewn gold as the light shone in from a nearby window. "So what changed your obviously staunch opinion of me?"
"You. Your honor. Your way with words. Just about everything about you became irresistible to me," she replied. She noticed the satisfied grin take to his mouth. "Don't let your ego get to you, though." She rested her head against the bare plain of his chest, sighing deeply. "You saved me."
"I have saved you on numerous occasions," Balthier reminded her, his voice soft in remembrance. "I would not think to leave you to your own devices when I felt so deeply for you. I had no intention of allowing you out of my life after you thrust yourself into it."
"No, I don't mean that," Anaya said, shaking her head. "I mean you saved me from myself." There was silence for a moment as she mulled over her own words, deciding how to best continue her explanation without looking like a complete fool. "Many of my actions were done to anger my father. In a way, I almost wanted to bring ruin to my family. He refused to help those in need. Instead, he supported the coming war, knowing that Archadia was trying to do away with Dalmasca. He didn't even care. All he cared about was himself and his political and social status."
"That's why you fled," Balthier recalled, pressing his lips against her temple. "You wanted to make a difference. There is nothing wrong with that, love."
Anaya made a content noise and nuzzled against him, curling deeper into his side. "I knew I lived a life of luxury. Everything I ever wanted, I could have delivered to me on a silver platter. But I didn't want that. I just wanted to have a simple life, with a family that would put others before themselves. I wanted friends. I wanted more." She sighed again, this time flurried with disgust. "I was selfish, wasn't I, to want more than I already had?"
"Absolutely not," Balthier disagreed, roving a gentle trail back and forth along her bare arm. "What you wanted are basic necessities for happiness. What you already had were luxuries not needed. I see no fault in any decision you made when you decided to leave Rabanastre."
"Most of my dowry went to Lowtown," Anaya continued. "I knew some of the orphans there, but only as acquaintances. I saw how they suffered. A lot of them had lost family to disease and plague. Penelo told me she and Vaan lost most of their family in the same fashion. I wanted those people to have at least something. The rest I spared to buy my airship, and to travel about trying to take from those who had excess gil and treasures they were not emotionally attached to. I wanted to help them all, but…" She faded off and looked up at him, her eyes swimming in emotion. "There was no way I could help everyone on my own. I was only one person."
"You made a substantial difference in many people's lives, darling, some of which you may not even be aware of," Balthier pointed out. He folded a rogue lock of hair behind her ear. "Not all of your help came by giving coin to the poor. You touched the hearts of many. You have left a permanent mark in the lives of those who felt they had nothing left to live for."
Anaya smiled. "Do you really believe that?"
Balthier nodded and kissed the center of her forehead. "I speak from personal experience."
Anaya shook her head, her smile widening in warmth from his words. "You speak far too pretty for your own good."
The sky pirate chuckled. "I have had an exceptional amount of practice."
"That you have," she agreed. She pushed herself from his eager grasp, sliding her legs over the side of the bed. "We should join your friends. I am sure they are wondering where we are. We have been gone for an hour."
"And I told them an hour was all I required to retrieve you," Balthier informed her, leaving the warm confines of the bed. He reached down for his discarded attire, slipping his trousers back over his legs. "I did not lie."
Anaya turned over her shoulder as she fitted her skirt back over her hips. A slender brow curled over her eye. "I don't think they meant to take you so literal on the matter."
"No worries. Fran, no doubt, shall explain," Balthier replied with a shrug as he tucked his white shirt into his pants.
Anaya stared at him in horror, clutching her blouse against her chest. "Explain? She better not explain what we were up here doing. I don't even know them, and they hardly need to know what was transpiring up here."
Chuckling, Balthier fit his vest over his shirt and buttoned it tight over his chest. He adjusted the cuffs on his shirt and walked around the bed as she finished clothing herself. "Darling, I am certain they will not need Fran to explain the details. The ceiling tiles were near to falling down atop their heads from your throes of passion."
Shoving him away from her, she walked to the door, thrusting it open with a frown. "You are inconceivable."
Strapping his trusty gun to his hip, Balthier strode to her side with a wide smile. He took her hand in his and lifted it to his lips, pressing his mouth against the tender surface of her skin. "That I am. And yet, you melted under my very touch. I think you very well like it."
Anaya felt a blush creep up against her cheeks, and she quickly turned away from him. "We need to go. I believe I need a proper introduction to your friends, seeing as I will in no doubt be spending more time with them." Her heels clicked against the wood as she walked out of the room, leaving Balthier stewing in his triumph in the doorway.
The sky pirate watched her hips sway as she rounded the corner to the stairs, his thumbs tucked into his belt loops. Moaning a hum of satisfaction, he closed the door behind him, leaving the state of the room in such a manner in which the maids could only guess what transpired between the notorious sky pirate and his lover.
Balthier did enjoy leaving his mark everywhere he traversed, and he believed he made a very colorful one as he followed Anaya down the age-worn staircase. Even if his friends knew nothing of what transpired between them, the sly grin painted on his face would tell them everything they needed to know.
And he loved every minute of it.
A/N: I hadn't even really intended for this to become anything. I just started to write for the mere fun of it, and decided it was one-shot material. And thus, this was born. Just to make a note of it, Anaya, my OC, was also kidnapped in Rabanastre by Ba'Gamnan as soon as he discovered she was there. Balthier had left her behind in fear of something happening to her, but he obviously left on ill terms; he just up and left with just a note asking for her forgiveness. And so, I thought when Balthier eventually arrived at Bhujerba to rescue Anaya and Penelo, this is kinda how it would unfold. Hehe. I hope you liked it! It was a nice little change of pace for me. Thanks for reading!