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.
"Um. You probably don't want to answer this, and feel free not to, but: handing you over?"
"Apparently there were not enough eligible suitors near Griffinmarsh. I assume that in their minds, dragons' princesses get to meet knights and princes and get rescued and live happily ever after. I suppose it never occurred to them I might be angry about it." She smiles bitterly. "And they didn't even manage, did they? Jann's off with that tiny brunette... catching up, or... whatever, and I'm certainly not interested in going back to them if they're just going to send me to get possibly eaten again."
Her voice may have risen a bit. She blinks twice, flushes, and settles back in her chair. "Uhhhm. Sorry."
He isn't sure what to say about Jann. Luckily Cath has this covered. With cat snugs.
"Thank you," Emmalina says in a small voice. Cath gets snuggled in return. "I didn't mean to shout. I just. Don't really know what to do? It's uncomfortable."
"Yes, I can see that," says Milo. "Well, I'm sure we can get this sorted out somehow or other."
"I hope so," Emmalina agrees, out of politeness rather than optimism. Recent history is not encouraging. But she nuzzles up to Cath and lets herself be relaxed by the cat snuggles. Cath is really a very good cuddler. She can stay like this for a while.
"Well, when you put it that way," says Milo, amused. "All right. I'll see you both later."
And he goes off in search of Jann. Cath remains.
Jann's friend has said her goodbyes. Jann is brooding (albeit less broodily than he was before he fetched his friend) in his room.
"Hello," says Milo.
"Hi. How's things?"
"I'm fine, but it seems like I'm unusual in that regard."
"Eh. I'll cope. I mean, I'm glad he's okay. It's just weird."
He considers possible approaches.
"Your rescuee seems to be having a little trouble settling in. Although she's made fast friends with Cath."
"Cath's friendly. What's unsettling her? I told the staff to get her whatever she needed."
...He's having trouble coming up with an answer here. And how often is Milo at a loss for words?
"...Did Emmalina turn into a rabbit? No, you'd be able to explain it if she turned into a rabbit. What's going on?"
"Nothing of a rabbitlike nature," Milo hastens to assure him. "It's just. ...What do you think of her, as a person?"
"She's... nice? Hard done by what with the contract dragon-napping. Showed me through the Caves, saved me at least a day. Good company."
"...I think there is some chance she may be fond of you."
"She... didn't particularly look it on the trip. And she does not care for the entire 'rescued from dragon, marry rescuer' paradigm, far as I can tell."
"Well. I don't think she wants to marry you immediately, but there is a wide range of possible options between that and - lack of fondness, isn't there?"
"Lots," agrees Jann. "But again, she didn't look it. Or say it. Or act very flustered while verbally making it clear that we were not getting married, even, which might have been mixed messages but would have been messages. Why do you think she's fond?"
"I'm hardly the world's leading expert on this subject, but she seemed - I don't know. The possibility occurred to me."
"Well, I s'pose I can... talk to her. I've been preoccupied but I'm less preoccupied now."