Anna knew that she liked girls when she was thirteen. Her older sister had a sleep over, and Anna watched through the crack in the door as the girls dared each other to do various things. She was caught staring at two girls as they kissed, and grounded for a week.

That didn't stop her from spying the next time, just in case it happened again, or from trying to kiss Louisa, her friend from maths class, who moved out of the city a month later.

Anna never got what she wanted.

Anna knew that she liked boys when she was fifteen. Tim in history class would smile at her in a way that made her insides go melty, and explain, again, why one faction or another did this or that, and how the parliamentary monarchy was a good system for their country, and all Anna could do was smile back and nod. She couldn't pay attention to the words for the sound of his voice.

This didn't stop her from trying to kiss him, or from running out of the tutoring session in tears when he told her he liked boys.

Anna never got what she wanted.

Anna knew she liked Prudence and Iolanthe both when they sat down together in a shared creative writing elective. Prudence radiated a carefully cultivated mystique, tall and dark and exotic. Iolanthe was endearingly, almost charismatically shy, hiding behind blonde hair. It intrigued Anna.

This didn't stop her from seeing that it also intrigued Prudence. Nor did it stop her from seeing that no matter how hot she thought they were, Iolanthe only had eyes for Prudence, who only had eyes for her potential acceptance into the spy program. Neither wanted sex, and especially not with Anna. They probably wouldn't even let her watch, if they pulled their heads out and got together.

Anna never got what she wanted.

Anna knew she liked Crown Princess Gentle when she saw her traipsing around campus in a flock of young women (and a few very pretty boys), each vying to be closer to the princess and get her attention. They were each beautiful, and clearly wealthy, and Gentle bestowed smiles upon them as if each were a singular gift of such importance and value that the receiver should treasure it, for she would never have a second. The casual cruelty of the display impressed Anna, though she might have seethed slightly with jealousy at the younger girl's skill.

This didn't stop her from asking Gentle out anyway, and being gracefully turned down. She said it with the utmost kindness that Anna believed she meant it, but she still thought being turned down because Anna was 'safe for the country and not in any position to try to do damage, and besides which, I rather like you and don't wish to ruin that' was mildly insulting, somehow.

Anna never got what she wanted.

Anna knew she liked Dr. Edmond Sullivan the moment she met him. He was a brilliant lecturer, published many times over, and young and handsome to boot. A linguistic prodigy the likes of which hadn't been seen in the field in generations, since Asenath Harding (who Anna rather liked, as well) and her husband, Ceirwan Llewellyn, completed the Catalogue of Languages together. He praised Anna for her cleverness and well-written papers, and asked her to be his assistant in her second year—an unheard of honour.

This didn't stop her from trying to kiss him, or from accepting his refusal and continuing to work as his assistant for the rest of her undergraduate studies.

Anna never got what she wanted, but she had, perhaps, grown up a bit.

Anna knew she liked Mila when she caught her fooling around with Matt. She and Mila had had such a lacklustre relationship Anna had considered breaking up with her on a regular basis, but the sex itself was good. Mila enjoyed being punished, and Anna, when she could work up something to punish her for, enjoyed it, too. Mila was a champion groveller, and when Anna caught her with Matt, she finally had something worthy of punishment for her wayward girlfriend.

This didn't stop her from ordering Mila to go fuck Matt again, the next week, and then humiliating her publicly at a party two days later. The sex, upstairs, with the door unlocked and everyone else downstairs knowing full well Mila was receiving her punishment, was the best they ever had together.

Anna sometimes got what she wanted.

Anna knew that she liked Pam when Pam approached her, despite the fact that Anna was the tutor for her class, and told her she was hot. She knew that Pam had seen her with Mila, and knew exactly what she was getting into. And Pam, for her part, was terribly obedient, willing to do anything that Anna asked of her. Tiny and blonde to Anna's tall and auburn, she seduced with such a convincing play of naïtivité, she broke hearts in her wake. Anna could ask her to kiss, to touch, to fuck almost anyone and know it would be done. Pam never lied and said she had—she never had to—and Anna always found new and creative ways of punishing her student-turned-lover.

This didn't stop Pam from refusing, flatly, one Saturday afternoon, to seduce her friend Sawyl. Anna was baffled—she had seen them flirting herself, in her own tute session!—and rescinded her request, until she saw them together at the party that evening. Pam had gone and fallen in love, right under her nose.

Anna got what she wanted, but she couldn't keep it.

Anna knew she liked Ruby when Ruby seduced her. A good friend of the frustrating friends group comprised of Sawyl and Pam, Iolanthe and Prudence, the prudish Prince Ian and his asexual Sasha, and the crown Princess herself, Ruby didn't seem to care that they might not like her lover. Anna adored it, and her. Ruby, she quickly learned, was an incredible cocksucker, and loved being in places where she might get caught. Not as willing as Pam, but possibly more creative, Anna had fun.

This didn't stop Ruby from breaking it off, suddenly and surprisingly, when Sawyl and Pam announced their engagement. Anna thought she might hate Sawyl. Ruby tried to explain that it was just that, if her friends were old enough to be getting married, then she was old enough to stop fooling around like a college student. She was off to grad school and needed to concentrate on her studies.

Anna got what she wanted, but she couldn't keep it, and found, once Ruby left, that she didn't want to keep it anymore.

Anna knew she liked Dr. Edmond Sullivan as a friend and colleague when he offered her a junior position on the faculty, teaching the intro level linguistics classes, as part of her stipend for her PhD in linguistics. She took it, and found that she enjoyed being single. She didn't even hate it when Sawyl joined her, two years later. It was actually very interesting to have a tie to Pam, who was stationed somewhere unmentionable doing unspoken spy things for the stuffy Prince himself, and she was happy for them both when Pam announced her pregnancy.

This finally prompted her to approach Edmond again, and confess that she had been in love with him since the day that they met, or perhaps just lust, but definitely love since she had started teaching with him daily. She was so desperately tired of being alone, but her previous relationship style no longer appealed, especially the thought of him with anyone else. And while she was glad for Pam and Sawyl, she was also a little bit jealous, because now that the idea occurred to her, she would like to have a child.

Anna finally got what she wanted, and she was very happy in the end.