The plains of Rohan were always brilliant at dusk. With the sun sweeping low on the horizon, the last sunbeams of the day sloped across the valleys and, for a brief moment, made the entire land seem golden.
The King of Rohan was witness to this sunset as he sat on a bale of hay behind the stables. He sat quietly, and fully appreciated the magic of the moment. He was alone, and with his horse nearby and his country spread out before him, Eomer finally felt at peace. For a moment, there weren't countless papers to look over, no meetings to attend, and certainly no more lectures from his advisors about his lack of an heir.
With that thought in mind, Eomer heaved a huge sigh, and scuffed his feet at the dirt. It seemed like every citizen of Rohan had been keeping track of his bed partners, and it unnerved him. Now that he was King, there was a certain sense of formality in his life that disturbed him.
Sighing again, Eomer pushed those thoughts out of his head and focused his gaze back on the land. The golden light was fading, and Eomer realized that it would probably be a long time before he was allowed a moment's peace again. He had to finish many political affairs before his trip to Gondor.
Stretching his legs, Eomer rose and walked into the stables. His horse, Firefoot, was already being prepared for the journey that was to take place in two days time. A stable boy began to brush the stallion's coat after bowing to the King.
Deciding to relish these last moments of silence, Eomer took the brush from the boy and dismissed him. This trip to Gondor wasn't something Eomer was dreading, but it wasn't exactly something that he was looking forward to either.
The letters that he had received from his sister regarding this trip had almost been girlish in their tone. And he knew his sister well enough to know that she did not normally act this way, unless she was up to something.
And Eomer had a strong suspicion that Eowyn was up to something. He also had the feeling that he would not approve of her scheme.
He knew his counselors had seen to it that the minor scandal of his seeing of a girl on the western border had reached his sister in Ithilien. He had known Freda since his days as Third Marshall of the Mark. She was a lovely woman, and a willing partner, but she was not of noble blood. His chief counselor had stamped out the affair the instant he had gotten wind of it. A minor indiscretion was how the counselor had described it. One Eomer could not dwell on.
Night had fully draped itself across the plains when Eomer finally made his way to his private chambers. His walk had done him good. It had cleansed him mind, and made his wits ready for the trip to Gondor.
But it had also made him more determined no to fall into his sister's trap. He knew Rohan needed a Queen. And Rohan would have a Queen. But that night, as Eomer lay awake in bed, he decided that it would be one his terms and no one else's.