It's the finest meal she's ever tasted. If only she knew what's in it.
She supposes it doesn't matter. The prince has made her a meal. She wouldn't have turned it down even if it had proven to be seaweed and horse fat, but the fact that it turned out to be delicious is a nice benefit.
She tries not to appear nervous to him, though she is. In return, he tries not to appear powerful to her, though he most definitely is. Powerful enough to destroy her if she doesn't do what he says.
"I want you to like me, you know," he says after a minute.
He shrugs. "Won't it be easier for you if you do?"
"It does not need to be easy for me," she answers, "as long as you are satisfied."
He frowns. Surely she has not done something to displease him so quickly.
Then he sighs. "It feels like I'm forcing you to do this."
"You are," she says, then bites her tongue so hard she tastes blood.
His eyes dance with laughter. "You should speak your mind," he says when he notices her blush. "I want you to speak your mind."
She thinks he might be different because no one has ever said that to her before. She wants to test it. "You are forcing me," she says again, slower. "You and my father. And I will, because that's what he's asked of me, but I don't have to like it."
The prince looks sad, and she's struck by a sudden desire to fix it. "Can you be convinced otherwise?" he finally asks.
Her breath catches a little. "Perhaps," she says before she can stop herself.
She wonders if he may not be so bad to be wed to after all.