Emma bit her lip to contain her words of exasperation. She was looking at the rings displayed on jeweller's tray but found her concentration elsewhere.
Edward was mulling over each grand ring presented to them but he soon noticed the fair girl was not paying attention. He wished to ask her what was troubling her but his confidence was marred by all the missteps he had made.
"That's too ordinary," Edward rejected the fifth ring and turned to Emma, "Do you find something to your liking?"
"Has your mother not already selected something for us," Emma could not contain her bitterness any longer.
A fortnight ago the Royal Highness, the Queen had visited her father and made her son's intentions known. Her father had been honoured to have been graced by the Royal presence and accepted the suit immediately. He already knew what was in his daughter's heart and wished to add to her happiness.
Unfortunately Emma felt incredibly uncomfortable by the turn of events. The Prince had accepted her affections and given her the most ecstatic smile she had ever seen on his lips but there had been very little talk about their future.
Marriage was obviously what Emma hoped to obtain in the long run but the lack of communication and romance was not lifting her spirits. Her friend's wirlwind romantic entanglement and marriage was all the more proof that such an ideal could be reached. The Crown Prince had potential to sweep her off her feet but he kept floundering.
"My mother has been of no help barring her talk to your father," Edward groused and Emma contained the growl that nearly escaped her. She stood up instead and faced the window which showed off the magnificent Palace walls.
"Do you know if I even want to marry you?" The pale eyed girl asked without looking his way. The Prince dismissed the jeweller immediately.
"You shouldn't have kissed me if you meant to throw me away," Edward's voice was rough with emotion. The Crown Prince loomed behind the shorter girl.
"Perhaps I wished for a Royal plaything," Emma felt the hear rise to her face but she persisted with an obstinate frown. The girl was turned around swiftly and the Prince's blue eyes were dark.
"You should have not toyed with my emotions!"
"And you should have not played with mine," Emma retorted with her eyes meeting his without her usual shyness, "How should I know you love me?"
The Crown Prince held his forehead as if in pain, "My mother was certain she was not needed. She's learnt her lesson from Delilah's debacle."
"You should have listened to her. I should have not have been surprised with a proposal from your mother," Emma took a step closer feeling emboldened.
"I was thinking about your father to be honest. I did not wish for him to think I was taking advantage of you and wanted to make things palatable for all parties involved," The man answered with a weary sigh.
"Except for me," Emma said.
"Can you forgive me?" The man pleaded, "Do you accept my love for you?'
"Only if you accompany me this evening to the grand market?" Emma hid a smile behind their still unadorned hand. The man nodded, desperate to win her favour.
The Crown Prince's disguise was very well put together. Mr Gepetto knew how to add a false pair of teeth and hair pieces to conceal his identity. He was grumbling the entire time he was man handled but Emma insisted it needed to be done.
"I could have evacuated the entire area if you wished to visit the market place. It would have been an easy task," Edward's words were slow as the teeth hindered his speech.
"The rush of shoppers is what heightens the attraction to this place. Without it I might as well sit at home and order from the visiting tradesmen," Emma clarified. She was wearing a less refined gown and no accessories. To Edward's eyes her plainness hid none of her beauty.
"I cannot imagine your father allowing you to visit such a rough place," The Prince gritted out as an incoming pedestrian shouldered him and did not apologize.
"Of course, not. Jade's mastery at disguise helped us during her wedding shopping. No one knew why a pair of men were looking at women's items," The girl smiled impishly.
Edward's face reddened at the thought of his future fiance wearing snug men's clothing. He banished the thought immediately.
"Ah, here we are," Emma exclaimed. She suddenly held the Prince's hand and tugged him towards a small shop hidden in a tight alleyway. The man did not complain at all.
The shop of small proportions was filled to the brim with various forms of jewellery. Under the candlelight everything glimmered exotically.
"That's the one I like, love," Emma affected a rougher accent but Edward barely noticed it for the term of endearment, despite being fake, moved him deeply. He vowed he would do everything in his power to ensure she was as fond of him as he was of her.
"It's..." Edward was uncertain what to think of the little ring. He read the tag against it and proceeded to examine it. At least it was original and not paste. The money set on it was on the dot.
"I could lower the Price," The shop owner said kindly.
"No need. We shall take it. What my wife wants she shall get," Edward gave a small smile which unfurled wider as Emma squeezed his hands in thanks.