But just as he knew the sun was obliged to rise each morning in the east, no matter how much a western arisal might have pleased it, so he knew that Buttercup was obliged to spend her love on him. Gold was inviting, and so was royalty, but they could not match the fever in his heart, and sooner or later she would have to catch it. She had less choice than the sun.
The tears that kept Buttercup company the remainder of the day were not at all like those that had blinded her into the tree trunk. Those were noisy and hot; they pulsed. These were silent and steady and all they did was remind her that she wasn't good enough. She was seventeen, and every male she'd ever known had crumbled at her feet and it meant nothing. The one time it really mattered, she wasn't good enough.
Buttercup, miserable even with Prim's constant attention, huddles in the cube and exhales cat breath in my face.