When was the last time you told someone how much you loved them?
(Princess Anella is faced with the need to marry in order to seal a treaty that would garner military aid to bolster her country's defenses, but the decision is breaking her heart)
Anella took a sip of wine and considered what she should tell him. "Paul, you don't understand. I now I am strong and I can make the decisions asked of me quickly, and I believe, well. But inside, I am still that little princess, my father's youngest daughter, the one no one ever noticed or spoke to very much. I am still that little girl who, at the age of six, looked into the most wonderful blue eyes she had ever seen. The ceremony and all of the ritualistic things over the years were all boring and distant to me, but you and your eyes were always there in my heart. You have always been my foundation and I need you. I don't need a general or a diplomat. I don't need anything they offer me: my country could use some of what they offer, but I don't. I need you, and I need you close. If I marry one of them - it won't matter which one - you will be gone, whether you actually leave or not. I couldn't.... I love you and I need you. You are what keeps me, me." She hadn't intended to pour all of her feelings out like this. She never thought about her connection to him very much, but as the words colored the air, she found every one of them true.
Paul leaned back in his chair, his wine forgotten, and studied her face for a long moment. He gripped the arm of his chair with a hard hand, trying desperately to hide his reeling senses. "I could never leave," he whispered, his eyes intense. "The first thing I remembered was your face in my room and you saying my name. Your voice did something, and it felt like huge massive walls of stone and ice inside my soul were cracking. I cried that first night before I fell back asleep. I didn't remember that until much later. And that other time, when my face hurt so much and you came, you were angry: you were quiet, but you were so angry. I think I learned from you that I could be angry too, and if I could be angry, I didn't have to hide anymore. Norlan talked to me non-stop out in the stables. He talked about the horses and your horse, Devil; he talked about you too. While he talked, my walls crumbled into dust. I had to come find you; I needed you to make me whole. I could never leave you, no matter whether, or if, you married anyone else. As long as you were near...." He rose and came around the table and laid a hand on her shoulder, gently restraining her from rising as well. If she rose now, he would fold her in his arms, and if he did that, he knew it would lead to things he knew nothing about, and he couldn't let it start, not now. "You need to clear things up with these men," he continued. "You should choose one of them without further delay, it's what they expect. If you don't marry one of them soon, you run the risk of insulting all of them and that may be grounds for war."