Staring at the frozen lake, I feel a presence come up behind me and wrap warm, strong arms around my waist, pulling me into an equally warm chest.

"What are you thinking?"

I tilt my head backwards to look up into Dethos's slight gray eyes and lean my head back against his shoulder.

"Thinking. This war won't just end. Somehow we have to come either to a true or an agreement."

"And how do you propose to get them to agree with your plan?"

I sigh softly before placing my hands over his and gripping tightly, "I am in love with you, you know that right?"

He tenses, leaning down slightly to place a chaste kiss on my cheek. "Yes and I love you too."

I close my eyes, my stomach filled with butterflies at the thought of what I'm about to say and hoping that I won't have to.

I open my mouth anyways.

"I'm going to marry Prince Ryould."

"What?" Dethos grips my shoulders and spins me around to face him, his voice desperate and broken. "Why?"

I raise a hand, cupping his face as I see the pain and sorrow in his eyes. "I love you and I always will. But this war has to stop. Too many people are dying. A royal marriage will end this struggle."

"No! You would never be happy. In their deserts, their walls, his home," The venom in his voice cause me to flinch backwards, eyes wide: he has always been so peaceful.
I shake my head, "No I will not be happy. Away from my home, my people, you. But this can save my people. Jacu is old enough to rule now. He shall take the thrown in my place."

I pull away once again to look at the frozen lake, the lush forests, the winding streams and the abundant wildlife.

I will miss my home, I think as Dethos pulls me around to face him again, tears shining in his soft gray eyes.

Soft lips press against mine gently, warm arms coming around me once again.

I will miss it tomorrow.