"No, no! I-It's nothing. Just some old poetry. Completely irrelevant." The King hastily stepped away from from the scroll case he had been standing next to, as if him merely being adjacent to love poetry made him tarred him with the same brush. There was almost something guilty about the movement. He walked over towards the shelves that the princess had first been examining when he had entered and ran his finger along the dusty spines. After a moment or two of consideration Ozragad glanced up and reached high above her head and plucked a single book from the topmost shelf.
"Here it is. This is the book I spoke of." The volume the King pulled from the shelf was thinner than the first, bound in fading coloured cloth instead of cracked leather. Its title was emblazoned upon its cover in an ornate font embellished with gold leaf: 'Recollections upon the Queen's Court'. His hand came down and he passed the book over to the Princess, and for a moment their fingertips brushed in the brief exchange. Ozragad almost swore he could feel something flutter ever so slightly in his chest. A physical response to a physical stimulus. It means nothing. Still he could not keep his mind from wondering. When was the last time I held a woman's hand?
He realised then that he knew the answer to that question all too well. He could count back the years, the months, the days even if he put his mind to it. That knowledge hardened the King's heart once more. Why am I playing at being pleasant and assenting to her will? We are enemies thrown together by politics, nothing more, no matter what the sad circumstances of her family life. She was vulnerable. He should be taking advantage of this. He should try to break her. He should destroy his enemies, like he had always done.
"No trouble? And here I thought that troubling me was your sole aim in coming here." Ozragad threw back his head and forced a laugh. It was a hard barking sound. "I could give you leave to write your family, if I saw some advantage to do so. But what makes you think they would care enough to reply? Remember, they gave you to ME."