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Bash made headway over the thick underbrush that covered the forest's edge as he traversed the end of the one hour ride to Divena's cottage with only his lover's name on his mind.

No- he did not even think of the princess he was supposed to marry in five hours time, the far more pressing issue being that of getting to Divena's side.

How could he even dare to think of another woman's name when only Divena's graced his lips? How could he even dare to think of another woman's name when Divena's was the only one he could cherish in heart?

He spurred his horse on wards, and they soon came upon the stables that lay near off of Divena's home.

He tied the horse to the stable door before bolting over the rocky pathways to find a crossing over the river that guarded her cottage from any ne'er do wells.

Soon enough he came upon the alluring stone cottage, the scent of fresh bread dancing along the wind, wafting a warm draw to his nose.

A smile graced his face then and he entered the place he had come to see as home.

He gave the cottage a glance over- it was indeed far from the standards of the castle where he had lived since birth- no, it was nothing like it at all. But Divena made the place exceptional in his eyes.

He flitted through the doorway to find his lover in the bath and she released a giggle when she caught his staring.

"Well, " She said, "Are you not going to help a maiden, fair prince?"

"It would be my pleasure." He replied back in kind, breaking past the doorway and approaching the metal tub beside the hearth. He pulled her up and they kissed softly for a moment before she pulled away, stepping out of the tub's waters and pushing him back into a neighboring chair, her voice teasing him without mercy.

"Take me." She commanded.

He swallowed and glanced away from her, "You know that I cannot, my love."

He sighed, "I hate this. I don't want this. You deserve to be my queen- not some princess I've never met."

"Then stay," Divena bid, her hand cradling his cheek with care as she sought to kiss away his worries.

"Let them return to their own kingdom, my prince." She pleaded softly, "Alliances are broken near constantly."

Bash sighed again, "Our kingdoms have been at war before, I cannot risk starting a new one."

"Yes... But Sebastian, that was generations ago. Is your father not close friends with the King of the Lunar Kingdom? That must surely count for something."

She voiced not in a plea, but in an almost sardonic drawl and he grinned at her flat tone- he knew he couldn't be doing this- that it would bring only ill upon them- he and his family- but...

No, maybe she was right. Perhaps he need only talk to his father. He could always go to his mother- he was her favorite after all, that had to count for something!

The scent of fresh bread thickened in the air and he slowly lost his ability to think clearly as Divena drew him closer to the bed, lavishing him with kisses, stripping him of his clothes, her teeth nipping at his sensitive skin as she traveled south ward.

He knew he should return to the castle- or at least that is what a part of him growled.

The part of him that was loyal to his family first, a part of him that would never ever dare to tarnish his family's honor.

He only wished that part of him was stronger as she unbuckled his pants and laid her lips upon him.