In the late afternoon, Jann may be observed crossing some scenery with a young lady, his hand around her waist, her mouth very close to his ear. They are laughing. They proceed from scenery to castle side door and vanish into the building.
That was... much more than Emmalina expected, honestly. "Thank you. That's really nice of you," she says quietly. Cath gets ear scritches for the compliment. "You too, pretty fluffy one." She looks back at Milo uncertainly. "Is there anything I can do...? To be helpful, or anything?"
"If you want a way to make yourself useful, I'm sure I can find one," shrugs Milo. "Or Mother can. We're not urgently in need of a spare princess, but there's usually something to do if you go looking. Or if you'd just like a nice way to keep yourself occupied, well." He makes a library-encompassing gesture. "Do you like books?"
Emmalina considers the question. "I didn't?" she says finally. "Not at home. But I think with more variety, I do. I enjoyed some of Morath's books." She smiles faintly. "And this room looks like it has lots of variety."
"Correct," agrees Milo. "We've got books about nearly anything you could think of. History, geography, magic. Miscellaneous stories."
"Any suggestions?" Emmalina inquires. "Since you did suggest this room. Assume I haven't read much besides etiquette and history."
"Hmm. Well, did you like etiquette and history, or should I avoid those?"
"I think I've had enough for a while, at least. So maybe not those. Or romance."
"According to Cath it's surprisingly accurate about cats."
"Well, if it's a joint recommendation, how can I refuse? Thank you."
He hops to his feet, locates the book among the shelves, returns, and hands it to her. It is titled Living Things And Their Magic.
Emmalina thanks him and tucks it aside for later. "From Jann's stories I feel like I should be offering to play chess now," she tells him, "but I'm really, truly terrible at it."
"It's not for everyone," he says agreeably. "And when I play someone who isn't any good, the usual result is that neither of us has any fun."
"Sorry. You'll just have to be chessless." She bites her lip, worried, as something occurs to her. "I'm not keeping you from anything, am I? It's very nice of you to entertain me but I wouldn't want to keep you."
"No, no, nothing like that. It's been a quiet week other than Jann coming back."
"It does seem like he's been missed."
Milo is not quite sure what to say. Cath decides this moment calls for more cat snuggles.
Well, Emmalina is perfectly happy to cuddle Cath. Pet, pet. Milo gets bumped up in her internal estimation for knowing when to let her silently brood. (And pet the cat. Petting the cat is an important brooding activity.)
Quiet is not a natural state for Milo, but he can manage it for important reasons such as not interrupting cat snuggles.
Eventually, with sufficient application of Cath, Emmalina looks back at him apologetically. "I'm sorry. You've been nothing but friendly, and I know I must seem out of sorts."
"It seems to me that you have excellent reasons to be out of sorts," says Milo.
"I don't know that it's the usual result of a dragon rescue."
"Well, dragon rescues are habitually preceded by dragon captivities, and those aren't usually the most comfortable way one could possibly spend one's time. For example."
"Once I realized he wasn't going to eat me, it was surprisingly okay?" Emmalina says. "Well. I wasn't thrilled about the cleaning, but the enchanted mop did most of the work."
"Well, all right. Still, it seems like - a disruptive experience."
Emmalina smiles at him ruefully. "You had etiquette classes too, didn't you? 'Disruptive.' Yes, my parents handing me over to a dragon was definitely disruptive. No argument here."