Title: Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace
Notes: My second entry for the taming the muse livejournal community. This prompt was kiln. It was hard for me, so I decided to go for a comparison angle.

~ PJSC ~ PJSC ~

"Hello Princess Jasmine."

Jasmine's smile was cold and didn't reach her eyes. "Sir Carl. How many I help you?"

"Can I have this dance?"

Princess Jasmine hesitated. No matter her wishes, she knew it would be considered improper to refuse. "Of course Sir Carl."

The two waltzed. By all outside appearances, nothing seemed amiss. If one looked closer though, they would see the slightly stilted movement and tense muscles.

Sir Craig gazed longingly into Princess Jasmine's eyes. From the moment he met her he had wanted her, but she kept him at arms' length. Sir Craig didn't take offense though; she was like that with all males. Rumors of the reason ran rampant throughout the kingdom. They ranged from Princess jasmine being a Grade-A bitch to her being sexually assaulted in the past. The wildest rumor was sometime in her early childhood she had been abducted by aliens and the abduction altered her personality.

"So princess, how have the marriage negotiations been going?"

If it was even possible, Princess Jasmine eyes became even more frigid. "Swimmingly." She deadpanned, before continuing with a forced, polite smile. "I feel like a steak in a meat market.

Sir Craig didn't know what to say, but he tried anyways. "There must be someone whose offer isn't so unappealing." He asked, despite the painful throb in his chest.

"No unfortunately. The one I want isn't allowed to bid for my hand in marriage. He hasn't even come forward and tried."

Sir Craig swallowed, not daring to hope. There was more than one male in the kingdom who wouldn't be allowed to marry the princess. "Maybe he doesn't seem a reason to try if he's not allowed the gift of becoming your husband."

For a brief second, Princess Jasmine's eyes softened but it was fleeting. "If he tried, I'd gladly give up the throne and live my life in exile, just so I could be with him."

"Have you tried telling him your feelings?"

Princess Jasmine opened her mouth, but the song ending forestalled any answer. The princess curtsied before moving away and Sir Craig was left looking longingly after the retreating back.

"Eh hum." A voice interrupted his musings.

Sir Craig looked to see Lady Esmeralda. "Yes Madam?"

"Would you do me the honor of sharing a dance with me?"

"Of course," Sir Craig sighed.

Many more dances were shared, but Sir Craig could only think of Princess Jasmine.

~ PJSC ~ PJSC ~

"Prince Michael and my daughter Princess Jasmine will unite in marriage in two months time." King Jamal announced on the princess's 18th birthday.

Craig felt like he couldn't breathe, like his world was closing in on him. He saw Princess Jasmine's eyes shift to him before quickly scurrying away and knew what he had to do, even if there was a risk of rejection.

First, to find the right timeā€¦

The right time came when the princess excused herself from the ballroom. Without thinking, Sir Craig quickly rushed after her. He followed her to the garden where he saw her kneel down near a rose bush. "Hello Princess. I apologize for interrupting your alone time."

"What may I do for you, Sir Craig?" Princes Jasmine let out an exhausted sigh as she turned her gaze towards the man. She looked way too miserable; especially considering it was her birthday.

"I know I'm supposed to congratulate on your upcoming nuptials, but I can't in good conscience do that. I find myself in desperate need to tell you the truth, no matter the consequences. I'm in love with you. I have been for years. I apologize for not coming forward sooner, but I can no longer stay silent."

"I love you too."

~ PJSC ~ PJSC ~

"No," A high laugh sounded as a beautiful girl with auburn hair and black-as-night eyes hid behind a tree.

"You know," a deep voice chuckled. "You're not a very good hider." Just then a lanky man with brown cropped hair and piercing azure eyes trapped the girl, putting both arms against the tree so she couldn't escape.

"Maybe I wasn't really trying to hide," She breathed, eyes hooded.

"Good," he replied, just as breathlessly. "I never want you to hide from me."

Lips touched in a gentle kiss, which quickly turned passionate as Craig's arms wrapped around a slim waist and Jasmine pushed her body closer.

Jasmine felt like a heat was ready to erupt from her and she couldn't get enough of the feeling. Similarly, Craig felt heat bubbling up and he made sure Jasmine could feel it too he pressed as close as possible.

They broke the kiss, panting softly, both pairs of eyes heavy with lust.

They walked back to the small cottage, hand in hand. "You know, you are my kiln Craig."

"What my love?" Craig asked; he still wasn't used to the way Jasmine's mind always worked; it was fun trying to figure it out though.

Jasmine laughed. "You are my kiln; you heat me up, thawed me out, just like a kiln heats up clay."

"You are so corny." Craig sniggered.

"You love me anyways."

"Yeah, I do." Craig said, voice awash with emotion.

They smiled before sprinting into the cottage. They wanted their bed right away.

Craig and Jasmine's life was not perfect. They were cut off from the world, didn't always have the resources they needed, had no family, lived in constant fear of the royal guards discovering them, but at least they had each other. It could be worse.