The Wedding Happens
Riadem gazed at his mother in shocked surprise as she emerged from her
quarters. While he remembered his mother as a younger woman and had
thought her beautiful then, he'd never seen her look like this. The
gold brocade gown was finer than any he'd ever seen her wear, the cut
accentuating a figure that even he had to admit was lovely for her
age. Her black hair wasn't pulled back severely, as had been her habit
for turns, but instead was coiled loosely at the nape of her neck in
intricate loops; it softened her features and her fine bone structure
seemed more elegant rather than hard. Riadem could now see why his
mother had been called a beauty in her youth; she was stunning now.
Yriadha saw the stunned look and if it had been an honestly happy
occasion, she might have preened. Stenlis did have good taste in
gowns, she had to admit and in an effort to appear completely
acquiescent to the marriage, she had worn everything he'd provided,
with only one addition. Around her wrist she wore a bracelet that had
been given to her by another. Tucking her hand into her son's arm, she
took a breath. "I'm ready."
"You look beautiful, Mother." Riadem squeezed her hand. "I'm happy for you."
She managed to offer him a smile. "Thank you, Riadem."
When she emerged with her son into the private courtyard, her eyes
found Stenlis, offered a sweet smile that only she knew was false, and
then looked to the man who stood behind Stenlis. The wedding party was
small, by her request. She'd invited Sophque and her family, but no
more than that. It had been hard enough to convince her friend that
she was willing for this ceremony to take place, but she'd seen the
doubt in her eyes.
Stenlis's breath exploded at Yriadha's arrival, his hand clenching on
his cane. "Beautiful." His chin lifted, a pleased and triumphant smile
on his face as she was led towards him. Soon, she and everything he'd
worked towards would be his.
Bryvin's eyes narrowed slightly at Stenlis' obvious pleasure but set
aside his rage for the future. He nodded to the Yriadha with an almost
smile on his lips. He watched her progress down the aisle while the
Harpers played a beautiful love song. He took in a deep breath and
blew it out slowly. She more than earned her nickname today but he
didn't say it. He only thought it. **Beauty.**
As they approached, Yriadha kept her gaze down, but glanced up
through her lashes to see Fymer standing to bear witness. **Good.
Official Harper witness.** She flicked a secretive gaze at Stenlis,
the sight of the triumphant look on his face kindling an anger that
she was hard pressed to conceal. Content that it wouldn't last long,
she allowed her son to lead her to stand by his side.
Without being bid to do so, Stenlis took her hand from Riadem's,
dismissing the young man with barely a glance. His attention was
focused solely on the woman who would finally be _his_ after turns of
waiting and planning. He'd made mistakes, certainly, regretted some
of what he'd had to do, but his prize was now in front of him, in his
grasp. Possession flared in his gaze as he looked at Yriadha, clad in
the gown he had chosen and wearing his gifts that he'd brought. His
eyes flicked to the bracelet not recognizing it, but deemed it
unimportant. And look, her cheeks were flushing. It was sweet, he
decided, but later, he'd see body he'd dreamed of flushed just as
deeply with the passion he knew she held within her. She was _his_.
Sophque smiled though she wanted to spit on the man. No matter what
her friend had chosen she had no illusions about the situation Yriadha
was walking into. Her eyes shifted to Lord Bryvin and she thought she
saw something in the way he was standing that told her he wasn't any
happier about this than she was. She hadn't told a single person what
Bryvin for his part smiled and grasping both wrists removed Yriadha's
hand from Stenlis' "Ah ah ah," he gently scolded. "Not so quickly." He
nodded to Riadem to take his mothers hand again. Then he stepped back
and opened his book.
For only a moment, a not-quite-sane rage flared in Stenlis' eyes when
Bryvin removed Yriadha's hand from his own. It was quickly covered
however with an acknowledging incline of his head. "Apologies, of
course, my Lord. I fear I'm an over eager groom."
Yriadha kept her eyes lowered in a semblance of docility and
submission, playing towards Stenlis' expectations. But as her son took
her hand once again, she couldn't help but feel relieved. The touch
of the man turned her stomach. Her stomach clenched as Bryvin opened
the book and began to read.
He began. "We are gathered together here to unite Yriadha and Stenlis
in marriage. This contract is not to be entered into lightly, but
thoughtfully and seriously with a deep realization of its obligations
and responsibilities. Please remember that love, loyalty, and
understanding are the foundations of a happy and enduring home. "Who
gives this woman to be married to this man," Bryvin asked.
"I do," Riadem answered, eyes sharp on Stenlis.
Bryvin nodded for Stenlis to take her hand and began. "Do you Stenlis,
take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold,
in sickness and in health, in good times and woe, for richer or poorer
keeping yourself unto her for as long as you both shall live?"
Bryvin's right eye might have twitched on the last bit.
Yriadha's face was impassive as Stenlis breathed his answer, his
hands tightly possessive on hers. "Yes. I will. Always. "
Bryvin turned slightly to Yriadha, "and do you Yriadha take this man
to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, in sickness
and in health, in good times and woe, for richer or poorer keeping
yourself unto him for as long as you both shall live?" The ancient
words rolled off his tongue easily but he and she both knew the
underlying meanings behind them.
"Yes. I do." The words were soft even as she felt the fingers
tightening around hers at her response. She resisted digging her nails
into the man's flesh, but slowly lifted her eyes. Thinking of private
plans, she allowed a winning smile to light on her face.
Stenlis took the smile exactly add she had intended him to, as one of
joy, and answered it with a smile of his own.
Fymer was wearing harper blue, dressed suitable for the occasion.
Standing as witness, he tried not to yawn.
Once the ceremonial part was over, he brought the wedding contract to Bryvin.
Bryvin leaned over and signed the contract with a flourish and smile
for Stenlis. Then he took the mans hand. "Congratulations Stenlis," he
said warmly. "I hope you get everything you deserve." Then he turned
and chastely kissed the bride's cheek and held the sides of her
shoulders in his hands. "You will always be welcome here Yriadha. You
have been a most exemplary headwoman that any Lord would desire." He
ruined the moment with a twinkle and smirk but as his back was to the
groom he didn't try to hide it.
He turned to the Harper. "Come Fymer, let us record this ceremony to
send to the Hall." Though the records would never reach Harper Hall if
he had anything to say about it, and he obviously did.
"Yes, my Lord," Fymer replied with a bow of his head. "My
congratulations to the newly weds," the harper added to the couple and
turned to follow his Lord Holder.
Yriada's smile didn't reflect in her eyes; there was a grim
determination about the smile she gave Bryvin, but the moment her gaze
turned to Stenlis, she was able to fake warmth as he drew her from
Bryvin with possessive intent. His arm wrapped around her waist and he
turned to his son. "You have my leave to return to the Hold. Spread
the good news and make preparations for our return."
The young man smiled briefly and nodded, bowing towards the couple.
"Yes, Father. I'll do as you wish." He turned to Yriadha and spoke
formally. "Welcome to our family." He turned, bowed to Bryvin and
Fymer and took his leave.
Last updated on the August 13th 2019