Unexpected Wedding Guests
When L'keri entered the dining cavern, he did something unusual for him:
he walked past the line of riders and weyrfolk queueing for the serving
tables and headed straight over to where his wingmates were sitting. The
scent of lunch was tempting, but he had a better idea.
"K'mai!" He slid into a seat opposite the bluerider and reached over to
sneak a roll from his friend's tray. All right, so he was a little
hungry... "You don't have any plans this afternoon, do you?"
K'mai arched an eyebrow. "I have a few possibilities, but what's on
your mind?" Either L'keri had something good in mind, or something bad
. . . or possibly both at the same time.
"I was on sweep duty this morning." L'keri took a bite out of the roll.
"I saw wagons heading for one of the holds in Amethyst Cliff territory,
lots of them. Stalls being set up around a dancing square. Flags and
bunting. Looks like they're celebrating - so I asked around, and L'tel
told me he's been assigned to bring a family to that very hold, this
afternoon. It's a wedding gather. And you know what that means?"
K'mai chuckled. "That we're going to invite ourselves?"
The brownrider's eyes gleamed. "Think of it, K'mai. A wedding Gather.
The dancing! The food! And best of all...the holder girls." He sighed
blissfully. "They'll have spent all of their lives reading harper tales
about brave, dashing dragonriders. Just like us. And everyone's in a
romantic mood at a wedding."
"I think you're do for some excitement that _doesn't_ involve Thread."
K'mai thought getting up to a bit of trouble in a hold did sound fun.
"After a whole Turn of healthy food and exercise, I'm certainly ready to
take advantage of the results." L'keri winked. "Meet you outside the
Hatching cavern in half a candlemark? Or do you need more time to make
yourself look irresistible?"
K'mai thought for a moment. "A slightly windblown, rugged look might
do well. Although we do need to dress up a _little_. It is a wedding,
after all." He grinned.
"True. I'd better put on a clean shirt..." L'keri looked down at the
crumpled garment he'd thrown on that morning after rolling out of bed,
in his haste to make it to the sweepride on time. Windblown and rugged,
however, he could do. "Half a candlemark, then." He shamelessly stole
another meatroll from K'mai's plate and sauntered off, chewing and
anticipating what the afternoon might bring.
A little over half a candlemark later, the dragons appeared from
/between/ over the hold L'keri had seen earlier. It was large and looked
prosperous, surrounded by golden fields of wheat. Stalls shaded by
brightly colored canopies had been set up around an open square, and the
sounds of harper music and the scents of roasting meat drifted up from
**We can land over there.** L'keri pointed to a grassy field where
another dragon, a blue, was just taking off after depositing his passengers.
Sebeth called a greeting to the other dragon as he spiraled down to
land. K'mai dismounted with a grin and tilted his nose up to take an
appreciative sniff. "Smells delicious."
"You just had lunch," L'keri teased, conveniently forgetting his own
thefts from his friend's tray. "Still, it _is_ a wedding." With Rhalith
settled, he began to follow his nose towards the food tent. "So, are we
friends of the bride's family, or the groom?"
"This is your scheme, you decide." K'mai laughed as he ran a hand
through his hair to make it look wind-tousled. The riding helmet had
"Let's say the groom," L'keri suggested. "Distant cousins. Then we have
an excuse to introduce ourselves to the bridesmaids. First things first,
though, we need to fortify ourselves for the dancing." He ducked into
the food tent and looked around, then headed over to a long table.
Servers were hurrying in and out carrying trays with skewers of spiced
meat and vegetables, warm rolls and flatbreads, and bowls of salad,
grains and sauces. He collected a plate and began heaping it high,
though remembering healer's orders, he did take a healthy portion of the
K'mai eyed him. "All that after you stole half my lunch?" He was
filling his own plate with a few treats.
"We're at a wedding. It would be rude not to partake," L'keri said
unrepentantly. He began to dig into the food. "Mmm - this is good."
Their dragonriders' knots were already getting curious looks as the tent
filled up with holders. "Shall we mingle with our fellow guests?"
K'mai popped one more sweet into his mouth. "Of course." He headed
over to a group that was doing a poor job of pretending that they
weren't staring. "They do make a lovely couple, don't they?"
"Oh - yes," the holder replied, sounding rather flustered. A middle-aged
man, he was standing with a woman who was likely his wife, and three
children. The wife and two older teenagers were making an effort to hide
their interest, but the youngest, a boy of nine or ten, stared wide-eyed
at K'mai. "A very good match. I don't think we've met? I'm Velorian of
East Ridge Hold, Kebron's uncle." He blinked. "I didn't know there were
any dragonriders on Relanna's side of the family?"
"Oh, no. I'm related to the groom." K'mai answered with a smile. "A
cousin. A distant cousin. Distant enough that I was surprised to get
an invitation, but I suppose he wanted everyone to celebrate the big
"Well, it's good luck, to have a dragonrider at a wedding," the wife
said, smiling at her husband's bemused expression. "And your friend - is
he from the groom's side, as well?" She glanced over to where L'keri was
chatting with a pair of finely dressed young women. The brownrider was
gesturing with one hand as if describing some heroic feat, while barely
managing not to spill his plate of food. "Or are you...ah, together?"
K'mai laughed. "He _wishes_ he was that lucky. No, he's another cousin
from the groom's side. We came over together from the Weyr." K'mai
glanced around. "This really is a lovely celebration. Did any of you
have anything to do with the preparations?"
"Not much. It's Relanna's mother who's done most of the work, and you
can see she's outdone herself," the woman replied, gesturing around at
the abundance of food that surrounded them. Even L'keri's appetite
hadn't made much of a dent in it. "And these glorious flowers - she must
have had half the hold out gathering them."
"We did bring our hold's harper along with us, to play at the dancing
later," Velorian said. "You'll be staying, I hope? No early Threadfall
on the morrow?"
"No, we have plenty of time." K'mai grinned. "I'm looking forward to
the dancing. I'll happily dance with anyone from blushing girls to
spry old aunties."
"That's good. I don't think you'll lack for partners," Velorian's wife
said with a smile. The dragonriders were certainly getting a lot of
attention. Another couple of girls and one awestruck young boy had
joined the group around L'keri to listen to whatever story he was
telling. "But we'd better let you greet your cousin and his new bride."
She gestured towards the couple.
"Ah, yes of course." K'mai gave the group a little nod and made his
way over to L'keri. "It's about time we congratulated our _cousin_ on
his marriage, isn't it?" K'mai said with an arched eyebrow. He was
curious to see what the brownrider's plan for this was, if there was a
plan at all.
"Indeed it is. If you'll excuse me?" L'keri bowed to his audience, with
a sly wink at the two female guests he'd first approached, and followed
the bluerider over to where a little group were waiting to speak with
the bridal pair. He showed remarkably little concern at the prospect of
introducing himself to a complete stranger as a family member.
"Did you get our dear cousin's name, K'mai?" he asked under his breath.
K'mai rolled his eyes. Of course L'keri hadn't thought to get that
detail ahead of time. "It's Kebron, and his wife is Relanna."
"Kebron, Relanna," L'keri repeated under his breath. "Thanks." Then, as
the group of guests who'd been chatting with the bridal couple took
their leave and returned to the gather, he stepped up to take their
place with an expansive grin on his face and clapped the groom, a lanky
dark-haired young man in his mid-twenties, on the shoulder.
"Kebron! Cousin! Congratulations! Shells, the last time I saw you, you
were a little lad of four or five Turns, and we were only just out of
weyrlinghood - weren't we, K'mai?" He gestured for the bluerider to join
them. "I expect you'll barely remember us. L'keri of Dragonsfall Weyr,
"Oh - yes, of course." The young man looked rather puzzled, but as
L'keri had hoped, was either too polite to admit that he'd never heard
of his dragonrider "cousins", or didn't want to cause a scene on his
wedding day. "I'm glad you could make it. May I introduce my wife, Relanna?"
"She's even more lovely than I'd heard," K'mai said, internally
laughing over how L'keri seemed to be getting away with it.
"Congratulations to you both."
"Thank you! We're honored that you could attend." Relanna turned to her
husband with a mischievous sparkle in her eyes. "Kebron, you never told
me you had dragonrider relatives."
"Perhaps he can make up for the omission, by permitting us each a dance
with his delightful bride," L'keri suggested hopefully.
"Of course, if she agrees." Kebron glanced at his new wife.
She smiled. "I'll look forward to it."
"Well, we'd better leave you to the rest of your guests. Congratulations
once again, and may your marriage be long and filled with joy and
happiness." L'keri bowed deeply to both of the couple, and kissed
When they were some distance away, K'mai turned to his friend. "You
seem to have picked a couple willing to play along."
"That went well, didn't it? We should do this again sometime." L'keri
took another another sweet roll from his plate and bit into it, licking
his lips. Then, his eyes lit up as the notes of a gitar tuning up and a
pipe running through some scales drifted over from the dance square.
"Mmm. The dancing will be starting soon. We should line up some partners
- or maybe they'll be lining up for us?" He could see a few hopeful
looks in their direction.
"I have to admit, this was a good idea. At least so far." K'mai patted
him on the shoulder. "You get first pick of the ladies."
"Naturally." L'keri surveyed the guests, his eyes lighting on a young
woman with auburn curls and a look of the bride - a sister or cousin,
maybe. His grin widened as she noticed him and tilted her head to one
side, invitingly. "I think I've just found my first partner of the
evening. And you?"
K'mai looked around, spotting several potential ladies, and then
noticed one who was doing a poor job of trying not to look at him. She
quickly glanced away when their eyes met. "Yes, I've got one," he said
as a smile spread across his face.
"Good choice." The brownrider joined in the cheering and applause as the
harpers signaled for the dancing to begin with a roll on the drums and a
chord struck on the gitar, and Kebron led his bride out onto the dance
floor. "I suppose we'd better let them start things off..."
Last updated on the June 25th 2023