When we has left Ea and Emmith, they were... hugging! Pass my smelling salts!
What happen next is more idiot romance:
Evening found the two of them in the small town of Kingston. Ea had enough gold coins to get a room at a little inn on the outskirts of town. They had a pleasant meal of bread, potato, and some cheese. There was only one small bed in the room, and Emmith said that since Ea had paid for the room, she should have the bed. But Ea said that since Emmith had rescued her, he should have the bed.
Oh, just freaking sleep together already.
They could not settle the matter, so they shared the bed. It was moderately comfortable, and they were tightly squeezed to the sides, as it felt odd to be so close to each other. Ea fell asleep first that night, and Emmith, before he fell asleep, kissed Ea every so lightly on the forehead.
Meh, I got my wish.
But I hate this. Hate with a passion. It's that stupid old trope of chaste bedsleeping between characters who are obviously attracted to each other. Ridiculously lame.
Speaking of ridiculously lame... after buying Ea "commoner dresses" in the town...
"Emmith, last night you kissed me, didn't you?"
Emmith was suddenly quite embarrassed.
"What? Oh, uh, yes I did," he stuttered. "Why do you ask?"
Ea smiled. "You could have just told me you liked me, you know. Not that I didn't like it." She looked at him.
Emmith was taken aback. "You -- you enjoyed it?"
Ea cocked her head and grinned. Emmith reached out for her hand and they walked back to the inn hand-in-hand.
Hahahahaha. He takes her hand and they walk hand-in-hand. L-O-fricking-L.
Then some soldiers arrive at the inn, looking for Queen Ea Mara. Ohhhhhh shit! Ea and Emmith escape to the roof while the soldiers search the inn, but not before they overhear the innkeeper telling the soldiers the names of the people staying at the inn and Ea hears him say "Emmith Greene and his wife, Eve."
So when the soldiers are gone, they continue journeying. Emmith is the strong, silent type.
They had been traveling for about an hour along a dusty road. Ea was practically crying. Emmith hadn't said a word since before the soldiers arrived at the inn, which was totally out of character for him.
"Emmith, what's wrong? You have been ignoring me! Please, just talk to me!" she cried.
Emmith turned to face her, his brown eyes full of hurt and confusion.
"Didn't you hear the soldiers talking to the innkeeper? They said Queen Ea Mara! Either something terrible happened to your father or he abdicated as king! You are now queen!" He was breathing heavily. "Now it's crucial that we get you to Peterberg Palace." He sat down on a log beside the road. "It was -- well -- I was hoping we could settle down together and forget your heritage."
He was close to tears. Ea sat down beside him and hugged him.
"Me too. I'm not so sure I want to be queen, now. I don't want so many people after me, hating me. I just want to be normal. And with you." She buried her face in his shoulder as he hugged her.
"I know, me too, Ea," he whispered. "Let's keep walking."
I just want to slap the two of them into next week.
The next night, they sleep in a barn. Ea goes into Emmith's backpack while he's out searching for food, because she's really good at personal boundaries, and finds his journal. Of course he keeps a journal. Of course. She reads the latest entry, which tells us absolutely nothing new. Emmith talks about the soldiers arriving at the inn, and finding out that Ea is queen. Then he sounds like a super conceited bastard as he waxes on and on about how Ea should be with him because he doesn't care about her money, unlike foreign princes or whoever else wants to marry her.
And then we get proof that Ea's head is a hollow gourd full of stale air and bits of lint.
Ea closed the journal in wonder. Did he really feel that way about her? But, then again, why did he write it if he didn't?
HE LOVES YOU. YOU'RE AN IDIOT. AND HE'S AN IDIOT.
AND I WAS AN IDIOT FOR THINKING YOU UP >.<