Oh gods! She’s so beautiful! I’m standing here about to be married to this woman straight out of my dreams. My only comfort is that it has been more than a year since that glorious day that the universe went mad and I haven’t woken up yet. Her eyes, so beautiful; her smile, oh Áine can she possibly be happy? How strange to be standing here today. If someone had told me fourteen years ago I’d be moments away from pledging my life and soul to Georgia I’d have thought them mad – and told them so. What a funny difference eleven years didn’t make. Those precious few years ago when I realised Richie’s wondrous little sister – that cute, darling little playmate when I was a little girl – was growing into a stunningly beautiful woman … and I’d still have said it was mad that today would be happening. She obviously couldn’t stand me very nearly as much as I loved her. Well, I can say this: Lyndsey has certainly been thanked thoroughly by us both for talking me into that first kiss, but never shall that be enough.
Does the universe still exist? Rude of it to end on my wedding day. At least it left those strong, soft beautiful little hands to hold mine while it all dissolved away. Oh! Maybe I should breathe! Oh, the universe is coming back, that’s nice. Whatever could that sound be? Oh! Nikolai! He’s begun the ceremony! Why’d I let Georgia talk me into this? If I were wearing something no one would have to see my knees shaking. Gods! No … I can’t cry … if I cry I’ll not be able to see.
I’m here! Freya, have I thanked you for this yet, today? Oh, I’m never going to stop smiling. I can’t believe I thought she didn’t like me. Why’d I have to be so shy? Poor thing thought I didn’t like her! Note to self: Fucking kill Richie sometime that it won’t upset Janice too much for not telling me! Such lovely skin, I’m so glad the ceremony says we should hold hands except when we give our gifts – I feel faint.
Does everyone feel like this while they get married? Probably not. How could they? Who else would be marrying the most perfect woman alive? Oh! She’s crying! Oh no, she’s going to say something … I knew this past year had been too good to last. Gods, even calling off the wedding her voice is so beautiful.
Why can’t I understand what she’s saying? Have I gone mad? Sound is definitely coming from her mouth. She’s making some speech – to me – she’s looking into my eyes, smiling as her eyes flow like waterfalls and she’s speaking to me. It’s loud and carrying; everyone in the universe could hear her, and … it’s Gaelic. I can’t help but giggle, just once and only a little, as she makes a long, beautiful, and utterly incomprehensible vow to love me. I might cry. Oh well, who needs words? Her voice and eyes said all I needed to hear. Hey! I know these words! She’s said them before! They mean: ‘I shall forever love you in this life, all to come, and throughout the Otherworld.’ Now I definitely don’t have to understand the rest; here at Grandpa’s hearth before both our Gods, our families, friends, neighbours … she said the words I’ve only heard a few billion times this korva – she said she loves me and always will!
Oh no, he’s done with the first priesty bit, that means I’m supposed to talk now. Did I remember to bring my voice? I can’t find it. Oh, look … I’m going blind. At least the last thing I get to see is a face to make the Sidhe catch their breath.
I, somehow, must’ve learnt to speak because now I’m hearing my voice swearing to her my love, heart, soul, body, my everything, my eternity. It is, I’ve just noticed, coming from my mouth. Good, that’ll help convince everyone I’m the one saying this. Why is she starting to cry? She looks worried! Oh, now reality catches up?! Who in bloody creation did I piss off bad enough for this?
Oh! Shit! How long have I been speaking in Gaelic? Not a bad choice, I suppose; Georgia thinks it sounds neat and I’ve always found it pretty … but she probably can’t understand a word I’m saying. Oh. Well … no, that last part made her smile. What did I just say? Oh! «I shall forever love you in this life, all to come, and throughout the Otherworld.»
Somehow, through tears, love, nervousness, fear, and nervousness I’ve said my whole vow in a voice loud as if I were giving a lecture, but softly and to the only living being to truly matter in this multiverse. As my vows finish themselves, I’m saying to her – softly, quietly, barely able to speak another word as the Goddess guiding my words moves on to somewhere else – in Galfarran … or is this English? Oh who gives a rat’s arse?! “Georgia, darling, please be my wife,” as emotion drowns me and I realise I havn’t gone blind – I’ve been crying. At least I now know why my face is wet.
Her lips are parting. Such pretty lips. She isn’t wearing anything … nothing … no makeup … but she has to be … they’re so pink. Oh, how nice! She’s going to talk. I like when she talks it always seems to be something beautiful, sweet, incomprehensible, or funny. Either way, even if she’s just asking me to pass the salt, hearing that beautiful voice just makes the day even more wonderful.
“Georgia, darling, please be my wife,” she says? As if I have a choice?
“Serena, I must have known you my whole life and I love you beyond words, beyond everything. You mean the universe to me. I don’t know how long I’ve dreamt this dream. Maybe it’s been since I was born, maybe before. All I really know is that I never believed it would really come true. Now it has, and I still don’t believe it … I’m glad I’m having this dream again, and so very real this time. Be this real or be it a dream, still I swear to spend as many eternities with you that you’ll put up with me. I thank the gods for this day, especially for you and your being here with me. Serena, my love, for a genius, you can ask some pretty stupid questions. Gorgeous, silly, beloved, of course I’ll be your wife! Or your slave, your soulmate, your friend, anything you ask if only it means I can be with you. Just please say you meant all those pretty words you just said”
I can’t decide … laugh, or cry? Freya, Odin, everyone in Asgard … please let her say ‘yes’, and then let this day never end … or this glorious dream at least.
My heart’s stopped. Time’s stopped. All of time exists now, here, at once, glorious, beautiful, shining … Gods, that face … that gorgeous face is smiling. “Of course I meant it! All of it.”
Oh, please don’t let me faint – Good thing we’re not dressed, the planet seems to have moved into to the sun. My but it’s terribly hot all of a sudden. I wonder what Grandpa’s saying now. I’ve forgotten how to understand words – they all sound funny with Serena’s ringing through my ears like this.
“Of course I meant it! All of it.” And she calls me silly? Nikolai has gone into the remainder of the ceremony. A very lovely speech about love and such. Or at least that’s what it’s supposed to be. I can’t seem to hear properly right now. My heart is beating so fast and hard, my mind seems to be having difficulties comprehending the universe outside of those twinkling ice-blue eyes … so like diamonds.
I sense more than see or hear Richard coming with my wedding gift to Georgia and there’s Crystabel, my beloved in duplicate, bringing her mine. Georgia’s gift is first handed to Nikolai to bless, then given to her to give to me. My breath catches as I look at a necklace more beautiful than I’ve ever seen, irydra with an elaborate pendant of olphaer, the gemstone worth a king’s ransom and an amazing shade of blue, like a deep sea .
She kisses my lips as she places it around my neck. “I love you,” she whispers as her lips leave mine.
She steps back, still holding my hands and smiling so that she’s outshining the sun as Richie is handing my gift to Nikolai for blessing.
Gods, I can never thank Avoro enough for helping me to get such a wonderful gift for my darling. Irydra and olphaer hardly exist beyond Xentor and aren’t exactly easy to find there. That aunt of mine is nothing if not generous – she gave it to me when she found out I was engaged, she says to her people it’s a symbol of soul bonding and that she hoped I’d give it to the one I’d so obviously given my heart.
It’s so pretty there between her breasts. Sparkles the same way as her eyes. I never noticed the gem was nearly the same colour as them – maybe it’s some kind of magic.
Oh! Freya! Is that for me? When? How? Where did Serena find something like that?!
She wraps her arms around me and just holds me as she places the astounding silver-white platinum comb into my hair. The roses – so lovely – how does one make metal so red and glittering as that, I wonder?
Grandpa finishes the ceremony, blessing our union and asking that Brighid and Freya go with us.
Arm-in-arm we walk out of the grove toward Grandpa’s house where a huge wedding feast is waiting. In the distance I can hear lemyrkûns playing and the air is full of the colourful wings and fluttering dance of the veriĵolsi. What a beautifully perfect day to be married.