Issy snatches up the note the moment she sees it lying in her quarters. Scowling, she very slowly, over the course of an hour, tries to read it. She misses a lot. Her hands shake a bit, in pretended outrage, embarrassment, and frustration. She has to read over a couple paragraphs, again and again, still not understanding, and several times attempts to crumple and throw the letter at the door.
She couldn’t sort it out in her head or in her heart, so she swore, and swore some more. And blushed. And after a moment, the thought struck her.
He gave a shit.
Very few people in her life, up till now, had bothered. But he did. He cared for her. He wasn’t trying sweet talk…she thought. Scowled. Then softened again. No, he’d been straight with her. She just wasn’t sure… she looked up, at the dried rose she’d kept, and a hidden smile appeared. She looked down at the letter, very carefully folded it up, and went to seek him out. It would be like pulling teeth, admitting what she would, but it needed doing.