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Before the Saga "Legends of the Force"(epic drama with OCs), book 4

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by AzureAngel2, Apr 13, 2020.

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  1. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
  2. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio SWC Jedi Draft Commissioner star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Yeah, Complicated seems to be more of a fit for G and L. All the best relationships are though. :p
     
  3. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Lucien really is trying very hard to be good right now. And he even seems to be succeeding. For the moment, anyway.
     
  4. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha, @earlybird-obi-wan, @Darth_Furio & @Cowgirl Jedi 1701, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to like & comment. This really means a lot to me.

    Since I am booked out the next four days, please expect an update from me on Sunday evening which also will be my last winter holiday day at home.

    Luc will be on a roll again soon enough!!! ;)
     
  5. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio SWC Jedi Draft Commissioner star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Always a pleasure. I'm hoping to update this weekend too. [face_peace]
     
  6. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @Darth_Furio: Thanks for showing up and commenting!

    Here we go, @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha, @Kahara, @earlybird-obi-wan, @Cowgirl Jedi 1701, @Nehru_Amidala and everybody else who is reading this:


    Act 2/ Epilogue:

    Once Leia passes out through the torture for good, she can neither hear me through the Force nor the man who is her true father.

    Father. A privilege that Darth Vader, once the Jedi master Anakin Skywalker, does not preserve in the least.

    Bail Organa will always be the one who will fondly be remembered as the one who changed her nappies, formed her into true royalty and made her come in contact with the Alliance.

    But I am forbidden to directly interfere with the affairs of the Living Force. There are strict rules. Now and again they are broken though. Sometimes by sheer accident as it was the case of Ezra Bridger. He recently opened a passage way to the past and saved Ahsoka Tano from her certain death. Then again, there are those whose hunger for power and eternal life causes abnormalities of another kind. Darth Vitiate. Darth Plagueis. Darth Sidious. Just to name a few.

    They are not my concern though. I am an angel of death. One who leads the souls of the dying into the Netherworld of the Force, mostly the ones of the females. And it’s my beloved wife, Grianán, who does the same for our male ancestors.

    Besides the Sith lord in front of me has his own harsh lessons to learn. About the truly important choices in life which form a character. And also about forgiveness. Not only the forgiveness of others. This is the most difficult part.

    I turn my head towards my protegeé. So much loss and suffering in her young life already. And a twin brother she was never allowed to grow up with. There is nothing that I can do for her right now. She must heal and grow on her own account. Letting go is the most difficult achievement. Especially for a former healer like me.




    Chapter 29:

    During the interplanetary flight itself, my wife and I do not speak a single word with each other. It has nothing to do with Temperance though. We are simply too nervous to start a real conversation after last night. Nobody wants to hurt the other by accident. Not even with words.

    Grianán pretends to look out of the panorama window with great interest. I follow her example, my arm resting around her shoulders casually. She does not object to my touch.

    Space is a dark place, only ignited by the soft light of the stars. Our ship seems small and fragile in its unlimited depths. Out there, silent lucidity reigns.

    When the dark blue gem of Amnion comes in view, I cannot contain my excitement. I had never believed I would ever return after my adventure with Temperance so many years ago.

    I get up and vanish from the room for a short while.

    When I come back, I cough lightly to get my wife's attention. She turns to see an urn in front of her. It was fairly bruised and battered, yet intact.

    “Grandfather Narthex!” she exclaims.

    “I found this in the desert camp where Heulwen had been held. It was undamaged in the crash.”

    Lovingly, Grianán looks at the urn. “Thank you. It would have been strange for Grandfather to get a sand funeral. He loved the High Sea.”

    “Would you give me the honour of spreading these ashes?”

    “Heulwen will not like us doing that.”

    “That is very unfortunate, but it cannot be helped. I already arranged a boat for us.”

    “A boat? You want to elope with me again?”

    “You are free to walk out on me any time, Grianán. I actually never gave anyone that freedom before.”

    She says nothing.

    “This is frightening me, but it also feels more than right.”

    She smiles.

    “May I take that as a consent that you will stay?”

    That makes her blush and look away. “Yes.”

    I place the next question very careful and with much consideration. “So we can still get married?”

    She nods, obviously not trusting herself to speak.

    “Then it is settled.” I kiss her brow. “Parhelion will hear our vows in his temple. He was very explicit about that.”

    “I wish my family could be there as well.”

    Now that she mentions them, I must confess that my thoughts on them had been pretty restricted up to now. The Dead had actually mattered to me more than the living. Sooner or later I will need to face her royal siblings.

    ********************************************************************

    The trouble starts when we are almost outside the space port. A group of men wearing the grey, impersonal uniforms of the city guard approached us with heavy steps. “Princess Grianán Arcānā Tjiehenet?” one of them asked.

    I enfold her in my arms, stating, “I am Comte Ankou! And this is my bride. We are on our way to see the archbishop. What could possibly be so important as to hold us up?”

    While the majority of the guards ducks under my scorn their leader speaks on carefully, but determined. “Sir, you are well known in Polysýndeton. And so is the fact that you are engaged to be married to this woman here.”

    Now it dawns to me. Aconite, only he can be so cold. And unforgiving.

    Grianán pipes up, “Please let me deal with this matter my way!”

    “Fine,” I grumble and release her from my embrace. As they handcuff her, I get out, “I love you.”

    She smiles at me widely. “I know.”

    Such a minx. My minx.

    I storm away without looking back. The temptation to free her is too great.

    A member of the Brotherhood is at my side immediately. His war mask is more than familiar to me. So is his aura.

    “Tonnerre,” I nod curtly. “What a pleasure to see you.”

    It seems an entire life time ago that this able man was my secretary.

    “There was no time to warn you about the arrest warrant,” he apologises.

    “Don’t be sorry about it. You had no control over it.”

    In the distance I can see the white towers of the archiepiscopal palace. In its marble halls I can feel my elder brother Parhelion, impatient as he tends to be when he is forced to wait on someone else. I smile under my war mask as I realize how much I missed him.

    ********************************************************************

    As Tonnerre and I hurry along, I can sense Aconite’s men tracking us from a safe distance. Most of them are not evil; just husbands and family fathers that follow orders. But some like the excitement of the hunt, and would love to bring us down like prey.

    The city is more crowded with people than I remembered it to be. Even my exotic garments do not draw much attention. Lidérc are a common and welcome sight in Polysýndeton.

    Suddenly, Grianán reaches out to me in the Force. Even under arrest, all she can think of is making me happy.

    “Take care, my love!” I advise her.

    There is no answer, but there is no need. I feel her in the Force. A little white light, recovering slowly from her recent trials.

    ********************************************************************

    Parhelion waits for us at the gate, dressed in his finest clerical robes. Tonnerre and I are guided inside the property, while armed guards close the golden gates behind us.

    “Where is Princess Grianán?” my half-brother asks coolly.

    “With her brother Aconite as we speak.”

    Mild irritation is written on his face. “With Aconite? Of all people! Why did you let this happen?”

    I answer with a counter question. “Can you renew our vows in the main temple today?”

    “Of course he can,” an unfamiliar voice booms.

    My head jerks around.

    Khion Aletheia leans against a pillar, grinning cheerfully. In my long absence Agathos’ nephew has grown into a tall, lean young man. The wide eyes, which look at me in friendly mockery, are the same though: as blue and calm as the ocean water.

    I rush towards Khion, shaking his hands enthusiastically. “Why are you here?”

    “My mother and I talked about this liaison. Soul partners, no matter what occurred between them, have a right to be together.”

    He produces a small, flat parcel out of his tunic and gives it to me.

    “What is it?” I ask eagerly.

    “You did not plan to have my cousin Grianán standing naked in front of the altar, I hope.” Khion grins. “No Ophidiae ritual can be allowed in our church.”

    The tunic that I carefully unwrap shimmers in breathtaking ways. I can tell that ancient Elfin magic is woven into it.

    I am so grateful. “Truthfully, I have only been thinking about the rings.”

    “Calothrix supports this madness?” Parhelion asks pointedly.

    “Love can be madness, true,” Khion offers, his grin even wider than before. “But knowing Grianán, she made the right choice with our Luçien here. Please, let this wedding go through, Uncle Heli. She fought so hard for it.”

    ********************************************************************

    Within half an hour, the most urgent arrangements are made. I ask Khion to buy some decent lady’s wear for the honeymoon.

    “Size Thirty-two?” The senator's son grins. “Do not worry, Lu. I will take my mother to help me. Father will never suspect a thing. She often buys clothing and then gives them to women who are not as privileged as she is.”

    “Oh, can you do me another favour?” Flustered, I drag Bertha, the toy bantha, from its hiding place.

    “Are you not a bit old for a plush?” Khion retorts.

    “This is a surprise for Grianán. Can you place it in her cabin?”

    “Her cabin?” He gives me a considerate look. “So, you are not going to...”

    “Of course not.”

    Patiently, I explain my wife’s gift of psychometry. I also tell him what I did to her before I fully learned to understand her powers.

    ********************************************************************

    Not much later Khion leaves me alone in Parhelion’s office to make an important holonet call. Nervously, I wait for somebody of the royal family Tjiehenet to answer it. I must not forget to offer my heart-felt condolences for both Agathos and Isabeau, even though everybody will think that I have her death on my hands.

    After what seems ages to me, a young woman appears on the screen. I think I have seen her face some place before. “Luçien?” she calls out.

    If this woman recognizes me without my war mask, she knows me more personally than I would like her to. “And I have the honour of talking to...?”

    “I knew Gri would win. The Force is with her, always.” Her lime green eyes fill with tears of joy. “Please excuse my unusual reaction, milord, but your fiancé is very dear to me. We grew up together in Cunabula.”

    My throat gets tight. I remember another pair of lime green eyes. “Are you Clementia’s daughter?” I ask.

    She wipes her tears away, showing me a bright smile. “I am.”

    My mouth drops open but I cannot speak.

    “Do you want me to get somebody of the royal family for you?” she asks eagerly.

    “No, no,” I shake my head. “Please stay with me. I... I have a request for you.”

    “Anything.” Clementia’s daughter beams at me. I can see her hands shifting into a mudra.

    “When we return to Draconis I need a wedding dress...”

    “Oh, we already made one,” she interrupts before I can add that I actually need one for Sionnach. “Daná plans for having an Amnionian ceremony here at the castle, but there will be also some wedding business at the hunting lodge between Draíocht and Ciall. Aranea, Luna and I took the liberty to sew an Udaler wedding gown already.”

    The infamous rat pack, of course. The three best childhood friends of my wife. I am again rendered speechless.

    “Listen, milord. I am very aware that turning from the dark is not easy. If you need counselling after your wedding, I will be more than happy to assist you. The Suspect Behaviour Unit can spare me as their chief for a while.”

    Before I can give an intelligent answer, a strict voice can be heard in the background. “Mora, dear, whom are you talking to? Is this Parhelion?”

    “Wrong connection, Ari,” she lies and shuts down the transmission.

    Suddenly, I know exactly who that woman in front of me is. Doctor Hemutiu, the author of ´Darksiders and psychological torture´. Her thesis had been in the royal library. I had picked it up by accident long ago.

    I remain in Parhelion’s office chair, both confused and grateful.

    Mora has a lot in common with my wife. I am glad that Grianán has friends like her.

    Khion pokes his head through the door. “I need to be off now, Luçien. My mother is already in her favourite boutique in town. Good luck with everything. I’ll see you later.”

    There is an incoming call. I take it automatically.

    ********************************************************************

    The curious face of a woman fills the screen. She has shoulder-length hair that is blond and slightly curly. I believe her to be as old as the first serpent-spawn. She is as cold as she is beautiful. When she realizes that I am not Parhelion, her dark green eyes harden.

    “You!” she shouts. “Wrong connection. Right! Eat my shorts, Mora.”

    Feverishly, I think of the diary and prompt towards the woman glaring at me, “Am I talking to Aranea?”

    “Bloody well you do, Ankou! And I would like to be addressed as Miss Djed.”

    That name certainly rings a bell. “The Director of State Intelligence.”

    “And your greatest nightmare, filthy cat. If my bella is not well and happy the next time I see her, consider yourself a walking corpse.”

    There is an excited voice in the background. Another woman. “Aranea? Why are you on the holonet? Imagine if that lunatic happens to call and he could not reach us, because you are blocking the line.”

    “Okay, sweetie,” Miss Djed states with acted tenderness towards me, “Stay put and do not do anything stupid. No matter what Mora told you as your personal shrink. I am in charge here. You are of great importance to me. We will be reunited soon, you and I!”

    Luna. Grianán’s godchild. What was she up to again?

    As the screen goes black, Parhelion hastens in.

    “May I ask you a question?” I say, watching him rumbling through his book shelf in a mad search.

    “A short one,” he rumbles.

    “I have heard that Grianán has a godchild. Can we have her here for the ceremony?”

    Parhelion looks at me, amused. “The Secretary of Defence is so angry with you, that you would be best if you did not allow her in your vicinity.”

    “Oh. Admiral Merkhet.”

    “The very one. You never knew?”

    I shake my head.

    “You are a master assassin, but you are more than lousy with the names and titles around you.”

    “I suppose you know everybody in this forsaken town,” I challenge him.

    He gives me an unexpected grin. “I am the oldest thing in this room. Leave alone on this planet.”

    With my head held in my hands, I remain seated, while my half-brother runs off with a thick volume clenched under one of his arms.

    Trying to calm down, I decide to go plucking the flowers of the wedding bouquet myself.

    The gardener of Parhelion gives me an agonized look when I go for the wild flowers instead of taking red roses. Grianán loves when things are sweet and simple, yet unpredictable.

    Fear does not only lead to the dark side. It makes extremely paranoid.

    Under my breath I mutter, “The rat pack will sanction this marriage. The rat pack will not sanction this marriage. The rat pack...”

    ********************************************************************

    I hurry to write a little note to go with the flowers. In the Force I feel my wife being threatened by fear. I attune my feelings and thoughts to hers. She invites me into her privacy without any hesitation.

    The high pressure chamber is made out of stainless steel. I tell myself that Luçien will never leave me alone in the dark again. He will come for my rescue.

    Aside from one of his guards, Aconite has brought nobody else along. He wants to have as few witnesses as possible.

    “Is this where all the fun begins?” I enquire, turning my head to have a glimpse into the inner tubular member.

    I am on a wooden slab. The straps that I am bound with are very tight. My handcuffs are still on.

    “I hate your attitude.” My brother crosses his arms in front of him. “Do you understand that you spoil everything?”

    I grin at him ruefully. “Luçien might share that sentiment.”

    “I am not afraid of the Ambassador,” he says triumphantly. “Nor of the Brotherhood of Shadows.”

    “Oh, you will be. You will be,” I assure Aconite calmly. “Do not underestimate his power.”

    “He is not at your rescue now, is he?” He towers above me. “Don't try to frighten me with his sorcerer's ways!”

    I stare openly into the chiselled lines of his face. “It is all about timing.”

    “You're far too trusting.” Aconite throws his head back, laughing. “I assure you, we are quite safe from your lover.”

    “Lucien would find this lack of faith disturbing.”

    “I honestly could not care less, Grianán.” He kisses me on my left cheek. “Seeing you dead in here will make up for all the injustice that you did me. Good-bye, my sister.”

    “I love you, too. And I forgive you.” There is no way of making him believe that, but I have to tell him anyway. It had always been the truth. “Even though you mean for me to die in the same unspeakable way as the Sea Elves, Chairman of the Human League.”

    “You are a Seeker. This is why Mother wanted you alive. To make up with Mórag.”

    “Sad, but true.”

    “I see. Now I understand why it had to be you who was heir. Well, Seekers are a plague; perhaps I even do your lover a favour here. A man in his position has much to keep secret.”

    “Like you, who who fears the dark and has a painting of his foster-mother above his bed?”

    “Good-bye, Grianán.” Aconite shoves the wood slab into the high pressure chamber with full strength. “The only thing you can seek from now on is death. I will make it quick for you.”

    The door closes behind me. I take a deep breath and start counting my heart beats.

    One.

    The light in the high pressure chamber goes out.

    Two.


    I appear next to my errant wife, before she can get to number three.

    “Oh, the things you do to get me alone,” I complain. “To pretend that I am not angry with you, Grianán, would be a lie.”

    I can feel her smile in the darkness around us. That humbles me a bit.

    “What if I could not have come for you?” I continue, trying to stay stern and be the voice of reason. “I was busy with other important matters while you purposely annoyed another madman.”

    “You made such a nice declaration of love earlier that I thought I would allow you to save me.”

    Despite the raving lunatic inches away from us, I take the time to kiss my wife and heal her injuries. I intensify our kiss to do so. But then her brother makes some sounds that badly scare her, forcing her to cower in my embrace.

    “Do not think of him or what he is doing!” I say and put as much conviction into my words as possible. “Please concentrate on the sound of my voice! Nothing can harm you now. I am here with you.”

    Grianán does as I ask of her. Satisfied, I can feel the tenseness leaving her body. She inhales deeply and nestles closer to me.

    “No flashbacks?” I ask.

    “No. Not at present.”

    It relieves me to hear that. “Let us apparate out of here before Aconite finds a way to get in. He is desperate enough to use his teeth.”

    ********************************************************************

    Parhelion sardonically lifts an eyebrow at us, when we materialize in front of him. “Why is your bride handcuffed, Luçien?” he asks snobbishly through the crypta. “Has she truly come here freely and without reservation to give herself into marriage?”

    “Of course Grianán wants me. This was the doing of her twin brother.”

    Parhelion presses his lips together for a moment. Then he states, “You can still run away, Your Highness. My brother would get over it.”

    My wife makes a wheezing noise before answering with a low, conspiratorial voice, “Actually, he can be reasonable.”

    “Care to give me some examples later on?” He raises an eyebrow, and something like amusement shows in his golden eyes. “For now, though, you must change. Your aunt Calothrix made you a wedding dress.”

    “My aunt? A wedding dress?” she echoes somewhat dumbfounded.

    “There is also a washstand, lavender soap and a comb. You look like you need it.” Parhelion turns to me. “Brother, what were you thinking? Why is her clothing such a mess?”

    Grianán comes to my rescue. “This is Aconite´s doing only. Luçien is always sweet and gentle with me.”

    “My sources tell me a different story. I have read all the crime scene reports of your abduction, Your Highness.”

    “We are fine.” Saying this, my wife uses the Force on her handcuffs and they fall off easily. “The thread of the dark side is over.”

    Manipulating small metal constructions is no problem for her; complex machinery is. The High Pressure Chamber had been a dangerous place. I am grateful she allowed me to interfere. That shows me that her trust in me has returned.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
    Kahara likes this.
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent as the rift of mistrust is healed
     
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  8. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    great to see them together and in love
     
  9. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Well, a couple of years ago I would have had more angst in the story, but I am not a teen any more.


    @earlybird-obi-wan: Especially after what happened to Jacen & his wife in the EU books and also to Rey & Ben/ Kylo I was keen on having a happy end here.

    Okay, a quick update, because I am to have my weekly Skype conference with a dear study pal who moved to the UK a couple of years ago. Normally we have it on a Saturday night, but a nasty migraine knocked me out.

    (Because Friday night my husband & I stayed up very late in front of the computer. His twin was our DM as usual.

    We were full of nervousness before entering the dragon´s lair and had trouble to come up with a reasonable strategy how to finish off a black dragon.

    And all of a sudden a baby dragon walked straight into us and I managed to kill it, because it did hurt anybody else badly. Next I finished off its sibling while it´s mommy was hiding from us. And finally I send that stupid cow to her death. Because she was trying to kill our genie warlock (played by DarthUncle) and sneaked inside the head of our companion (also played by the DM), making him attack the warlock non-stop.

    We were so excited after that particular "Dungeons & Dragons" adventure (which ended around 11:30pm) that we could not stop talking about it. Around 1 am my husband fell asleep and about 1 hour later I also managed to calm down.

    This is the reason why I am expected to be online with my study pal tonight who dearly missed me yesterday. The Brexit is taking a toll on her and so does the Corona pandemic.)

    Ups, the update. (Still excited that I made all the right choices as a dwarves ranger last night and was lucky with the dices in my hands.)

    Here we go, also a poke into the direction of @Kahara, @Cowgirl Jedi 1701, @Nehru_Amidala & @Darth_Furio plus everybody else who is reading this:



    Chapter 30:

    Parhelion shakes his head in dismay. There is a sour smile on his thin lips. “This is more than a simple love marriage. You both have political influence. I would not like to get engaged into one of the Star Wars of old that the Ophidea were so eager to lead against their enemies.”

    Rolling my eyes at him, I take Grianán by the shoulder. I steer her towards the wooden door of a side chapel. If I am not mistaken her body resonates with happiness under my touch.

    “Take your time, my love,” I say. “The guests will arrive in an hour. I would like to help you, but lore has it that it is unlucky for the groom to see the bride in her wedding dress before until she arrives at the ceremony.”

    She grins at me. “Since when have you been superstitious?”

    “Oh, with you I would not like to take any risks.” I open the door for her. “You have dreamed long enough of this day. I will not have it spoiled by anybody or anything.”

    ********************************************************************

    My head spins from the number of wedding guests. The entire temple is filled with Scatel and even a few Lidérc. This proves that the marriage has not only the consent of the Brotherhood of Shadows, but of the original inhabitants of this water world.

    When I am finally allowed to see Grianán in her bridal dress, it brings tears of happiness into my eyes. The wedding gown is long, flowing to the floor. The sleeves reach her elbows, and are hemmed with scalloped lace. Pearls stud the entire gown.

    My eyes wander on.

    The headpiece is equally made of lace, with a band decorated with white swirls of fabric. It hangs mid-back. Underneath it, my wife wears her hair in an ancient bun hairstyle. I am sure that I have once seen it a fairy tale book. Actually the one that I used to read to her in the Sapuhrian Embassy. The circle is complete.

    Parhelion waits until Grianán joins us in front of the altar before saying in a full melodious volume, “Dearly beloved, we have come together to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony. The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is intended by the Force for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is the Force´s will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of him.”

    My half-brother is a chatterbox after all. I bet the entire liturgy has a short-cut. It must have.

    “Therefore, marriage is not to be entered into inadvisably or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by the Force. Into this holy union Princess Grianán Arcānā Tjiehenet”, Parhelion speaks with a kind nod to her, before he looks at me, “And Comte Luçien Ankou now come to be joined. If any of you can show just cause why they may not lawfully be married, speak now; or else, forever hold your peace.”

    Grianán looks askance at this demand.

    “Any objections?” I whisper. “Now is the time, my love.”

    “You wish!” She wrinkles her nose.

    When nobody steps forward, Parhelion raises his arms. “I require and charge you both, here in the presence of the Force, that if either of you know any reason why you should not be united in marriage lawfully you now confess it.”

    I try my best, but I cannot think of any pressing reasons why I should not continue with my marriage plans.

    “Grianán, will you have this man to be your husband; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honour and keep him, in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?”

    “I will!”

    The full attention of Parhelion rests on me again. “Luçien, will you have this woman to be your wife; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honour and keep her, in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?”

    My smile is immense. “I will.”

    Parhelion turns to the gathered congregation. “Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?”

    Honest faces look at us, and many strong voices say in unison, “We will.”

    Excitement rises in me when my gloved hand takes hers. “In the Name of the Force, I, Luçien, take you, Grianán, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse; for richer or for poorer; in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”

    As she opens her mouth to speak, the folding doors of the temple tremble.

    Aconite is really getting on my nerves.

    “I love you, Luçien, just as you are,” Grianán speaks hurriedly, which earns her a punishing look from Parhelion.

    “They want to melt down the doors with lasers!” one of the Lidérc wedding guests shouts.

    “How dare they!” Parhelion bursts out, shaking with anger.

    “The ring?” I remind him with great ease. The only positive thing I have to say about Major Kyrene is that he never gives up. I have fortunately prepared for an emergency departure.

    “Give me your signature instead,” my half-brother suggests, as more and more Lidérc sneak into the crypt. “Aconite is desperate enough to make us all upset.”

    A city clerk, who has sat in the front row, quickly rises from the bench and strides towards us with a leathered book. He opens the document and offers us a fountain pen.

    “You first, my wife!” I encourage Grianán.

    Her slender hand basically flies over the paper. As soon as she finishes, I take over.

    “We will meet inside my star cruiser.” Parhelion was truly upset. “I trust you to find the way once you are finished at High Sea.”

    “Of course, brother.” I let the wedding papers disappear into my sash.

    *******************************************************************

    With accuracy I find the cutter in the middle of the world ocean. A young man is waiting for us at the steering wheel. His prominent nose reminds me of Agathos, his belated uncle.

    “Luçien!” Khion calls out. “You are getting better with that Force skill of yours. His Holiness was anxious that you would go for some deep sea diving again.”

    I bear the teasing remark with my new-won dignity. Almost jovial I shout back, “You should not heed the words of a clergyman, Khion. They are full of exaggeration and bedazzlement.”

    ”You mistake them with politicians. Like yourself, huh, Luçien?”

    I watch him running over to his cousin and swinging her around. Marine life seems to have strengthened his muscles.

    “Oh Khion!” my wife cries out with joy.

    “Dohajydh da! Fatla genes, Grianán?” he asks her in the melodious language of his mother Calothrix. Good afternoon! How are you, Grianán?

    “Yn poynt da, meur rasta. Ha ty?” she answers cheerfully. I am fine. How are you?

    As I watch them, I cannot help but think that we should have married here on board the ’Aurora’ instead. It would have been a quieter and private affair, but Parhelion wanted the whole of Amnion had to know that House Ankou has allied with the royal Tjehennet family.

    At least I can give Narthex a dignified sea burial. From quality time I have spent with the master valet I know that he loved the sea very much. Back in the River Valley of Cunabula he had loved making boat tours with his grand-children. I have also witnessed how he had taught them the art of fly fishing close to the Saxum Lucis.

    ********************************************************************

    Mistress Aletheia has prepared supper for us, consisting of a koliva, a wheat and raisin dish traditionally used during a memorial service.

    “Mother and I decided that we could not trust father about this sea cruise. Otherwise she would have come, too,” Khion confides to us after a glass of white wine.

    “That bad?” I probe politely.

    “You have no idea. The older daddy gets, the more radical he becomes. People disappear and are never seen again. Some of them even vanish from the market in plain sight of everybody. It is really frightening. It does not help that Aconite took over as new chairman. Together they are unstoppable.”

    We finish our meal in silence.

    When the sun beams spreads like liquid copper over the horizon, it is time for the actual funeral ceremony. We all gather at star-board.

    Grianán sinks her hands deep into the open urn. “In the end, we were all dust in the wind,” she mumbles, her eyes wet. “His spirit is already reunited with family members in the Otherworld. Now we will set his physical remains free.”

    Wistfully, she closes her right hand and brings the trapped contends towards her heart. Smiling to herself, she uses words that I heard her older brother Éleos ponder on before.

    “Emotion, yet peace.
    Ignorance, yet knowledge.
    Passion, yet serenity.
    Chaos, yet harmony.
    Death, yet the Force.”


    She offers me the urn. It sways a bit, but then my grip stabilizes again. He have many things to say, but only manage, “I miss you, old friend.”

    While I take a hand full of ash, I also silently bid good-bye to the man who fathered Grianán. Knowing his off-spring, they might have given him a fire ceremony at Dún Barr. He might be ash like this now, but his soul might watch us from a distance.

    “Hens diyogel, Narthex!” Khion takes two hands full, one for himself and one for his absent mother. Bon voyage, Narthex!

    ********************************************************************

    After a long, reverent silence, I set the now empty urn pot down. Dark has begun to settle, but my uncertainty cannot be covered by the coat of night. Moved by the beauty and serenity of the scene, I ask Grianán for her hand in marriage a second time.

    “It may not be appropriate, but we have yet to finish our wedding ritual. This is a ship and Khion is the captain.”

    “This works for me,” Grianán beams and puts her hand trustfully in mine.

    I take off my war mask and reach for my scimitar. “We will do this the Elfin way. Are you familiar with the ceremony that the Sleah Maith do?”

    She nods. “The enhanced version of hand-fasting.”

    “Precisely.” My scimitar moves.

    In an enhanced version of hand-fastening, invented by the Riwalan Clan long ago, I cut our wrists, but not very deeply. I just scratch the surface. “Grianán, I am bleeding as much as you do,” I state when I see her shiver. “I am hurting as much as you are. I am as uncertain as you are. We are in this together now, as husband and wife.”

    Once more she nods, still tense, but with a dim smile on her lips.

    I press our wounds together while I speak my wedding vows in Basic.

    “I vow you the first cut of my meat, the first sip of my wine, from this day it shall only be your name I cry out in the night and into your eyes that I smile each morning; I shall be a shield for you back as you are for mine, no shall a grievous word be spoken about us, for our marriage is sacred between us and no stranger shall hear my grievance. Above and beyond this, I will cherish and honour you through this life and into the next.”

    When it is my wife’s turn to say something, she makes me smile with her witty choice of words.

    “You are blood of my blood, and bone of my bone.
    I give you my body, that we two might be one.
    I give you my spirit, until our life shall be done.
    You cannot possess me for I belong to myself
    But while we both wish it, I give you that which is mine to give
    You cannot command me, for I am a free person
    But I shall serve you in those ways you require
    And the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand.”


    If Isabeau would be with us right now, she would have known what I wish to achieve. The expunged Clan Riwalan had its traditions; I hope to honour them this way.

    Anxious, I ask Grianán the honour of tasting her blood and she gives me her consent.

    It is quite a shock for me when I taste Grianán in this archaic way, but I can tell from her reaction that she likes it. I find that I also do not mind it when she has some of my blood in return.

    The Force healer in me can tell that there is still much work to be done before the two of us can become one. I do not want provoking any flashbacks of the abduction.

    Khion moves closer to us. He had held himself politely in the background until now. “With the authority that is given to me as the captain of the ´Aurora´, I pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”

    I heal both of our wounds, hers first. Then I place a chaste kiss on her nose tip. “Get some sleep, Grianán. There will be many surprises for you tomorrow.”

    “What about you?” Her disappointment is evident.

    “Grianán, you need your rest after all your recent adventures.” I reach out a hand to brush her flaming cheeks. “You will have your own bunk tonight. If you have any nightmares I will be at your side immediately and fight them off for you.”

    “It is our wedding night!” she protests.

    “Yes, it is, but you are not physically ready for it yet. The healer in me can see that. Sleep well, my love! If you really need me, please do not hesitate to call out for me.”

    In blind anger, Grianán flees into her cabin and slams the door behind her. I remain outside, exchanging a glance with Khion.

    ********************************************************************

    A sudden outburst of laughter from inside the cabin makes us both smile. My secret weapon – Bertha, the toy bantha – has won a battle for me.

    “I had her all these years,” I say through the door, “Can you forgive me for keeping her prisoner at the lodge as well?”

    “You are forgiven,” she gets out.

    “May I humbly take my leave of you now?”

    “You are dismissed.”

    “Let’s play cards now,” Khion smirks.

    “I’d rather have you giving me advice on the Tjiehennet family.”

    “You have been living with them since twelve years by now.”

    “That has not made me any wiser, I am afraid.”

    He wrinkles his nose in a way that reminds me of Grianán. “My royal cousins are all good card players and tricksters. Comes via Narthex, I guess.”

    “Was he really a trained assassine?”

    Khion opens his cabin door. “A body guard must understand what life can have in stock for his ward.”

    “He should have eliminated me.” I sit down on the small bunk.

    “Narthex was a well-educated man.” Khion sits down opposite me and produces a set of cards from his toga. “He believed that everybody else was able to follow education.”

    “Such high hopes for me.”

    “Yepp, you are in his debt for the rest of your life, I am afraid.”

    I give him a sour look. “I wonder what you will ask of me.”

    “Only Grianán’s happiness.” He starts shuffling cards. “That is all I ask of you.”

    “Remind me to introduce Skje Jörd to you,” I laugh.

    "Who is he?”

    “Somebody who shares a lot of values with you.”

    Khion salutes in mockery. “To absent friends, not yet met.”

    ********************************************************************

    Due to Aconite’s wrath, we stay on board the ’Auroa’ another three days. I do not mind our prolonged honeymoon though. It pleases me to watch Grianán swim in the ocean. She is so graceful, so happy. But I cannot help but see how painfully thin her long illness has made her. The bones starkly outline, her skeleton is on display. I must take good care of her.

    When it is time to return to Draconis, taking leave from Khion is very hard for my wife. His light tunic is sprinkled with her tears.

    “Dha weles skon,” the young man promises. “See you soon. Father cannot stop me. Even if I need to have to travel a detour over Sapuhru, I will come and visit you, Grianán.”

    “Can you greet your mother from me?”

    “Of course. I will give her all your love the next time I see her.”

    With this promise given, I wrap my arms around Grianán. The sleeves of my desert robes flutter in the stiff sea breeze. “Hold on, Grianán. Here we go!”

    We appear straight in the passenger lounge of Parhelion´s private star ferry.

    “It was about time,” my half-brother complains diva like. “Aconite would not dare to sign a search warrant for my ship, but there is a lot of security personnel around. We better leave quickly.”

    I grant him a thoughtful look. The authorities will not dare to scan his ship. As the arch-bishop of Polysýndeton, he possesses diplomatic immunity. Grianán´s evil twin-brother may be an imbecile, but he is not suicidal by questioning Mother Church. “Was it very difficult for you to get a flight clearance?”

    “Agathos and Narthex are still very much loved, Luçien. I was able to convince authorities that I want to hold a funeral service for them at Dún Barr.”

    ********************************************************************

    The flight to Draconis is considerably harmonious. We hold in a debate with hushed voices. At a certain point, Grianán gets up from her seat and stands closer to the large panorama window. Light springs from the shadows, reflecting in her eyes: distant sun systems in the depths of space.

    “Having shared many of Isabeau´s visions of a future far, far away I ask myself when exactly mankind will explore those yet unknown planets.” My wife is so deep in thought that she is not aware that she speaks aloud. “But I know for certain that rancors and banthas will spread.”

    Parhelion and I abandon our conversation altogether.

    “Force knights, very much like the paladins that Éleos has gathered around him, will be peacekeepers of the entire galaxy.”

    My heart is happy to hear this, but my ears are not. The future is a dangerous ground to tread on. Clairvoyance is forbidden by the Holy Scriptures. And the arrogance and pride of Force users can cause so much harm.

    “There will be desert nomads keeping to themselves, holding up ancient traditions while humans will mix with more alien races, creating new life forms. Everything will evolve. The only thing constant is change.”

    Parhelion was suddenly close to me, putting his arm around me in a brotherly gesture. “My father shares that sentiment.”

    “How is Dealg doing?” I asked.

    “Slowly improving. He still feels guilty about you, but sooner or later he will have balanced himself again. He is better at it than we are.”

    “Finding his inner balance or restoring himself?”

    “Both. He is the most powerful Force bender of old who is left.”

    Luçien joined us, putting his arms generously around us both. “Flirting with my wife, I see?”

    “Sharing was always an obstacle for you, was it not?” Parhelion commented quizzically.

    “I have this soft spot for Grianán.”

    “That is a relief to hear, little brother. I trust you to share the rest of your life with her and to honour her. She is not a play thing to mess around with. Perhaps she will even manage to turn you into a responsible adult.”

    ********************************************************************

    Parhelion drops us close to the lodge. The promise of spring is in Ceilonwyn’s air. Birds are singing in the deciduous trees that hold the first promise of greenery beneath the snow.

    “Give my regards to Prince Éleos and tell him that his beloved sister is alive and well,” I tell my half-brother, “We will join you all soon at Dún Barr.”

    “Try to leave Grianán in one piece!” he answers somewhat clipped. As far as I know he hates saying good-bye.

    Only now I am aware that my wife is still wearing Amnionian clothing. What was I thinking? She will freeze to death this way.

    I start fumbling around with my desert cloak and put it around her shoulders. That should do it for now.

    When the silvery star cruiser is no more than a little dot at the horizon, we stop waving. I focused my full attention on Grianán again. She looks somewhat forlorn.

    “Can I carry Bertha and you inside? Or is that a problem for you?”

    She gazes at the façade of the lodge. “Despite all you did, I have some fond memories of this place left.”

    “I want you to be absolutely sure of this, Grianán. One word from you and we will go directly to Dún Barr. On foot if we must. If you cannot walk any longer I will carry you.” To make her smile, I add, “And Bertha, of course.”

    As if to prove me her independence, my wife steps on the porch. I can see the breaking point. Her knees turn wobbly. She holds on to the banister.

    I wrap my arms around her shaky frame. “Do not worry, my love!” I force a smile on my lips. “We will not be alone today. Actually we have guests inside. A lot of them, all willing to take care of your well-being. And keep mistrusting eyes on me.”

    “Can I also keep my eyes on you? Just in case one of your ex-mistresses tries to steal you from me?”

    “I don’t think so.” I am slightly flustered, wondering what exactly her special Force gift told her about my former love interests. “You are the centre-point of my life.”

    She smirks. “Because I need much love and attention, and you happen to have those in abundance?”

    Laughing mildly, I open the entrance door with the Force.

    The moment of truth has come.



    Sources:
    An altered text from the Anglican“Book of Common Prayer” (1789) on marriage
    An homage to the movie “Bridget Jones's Diary” (2001)
    A Bretonic-French dictionary brought in Paris in autumn 2003
    The Jedi Code
    Two slightly altered Celtic wedding vows, with a nod in the direction of Diana Gabaldon
    Wookieepedia – The Star Wars Wiki
    Hidden quotes from SW movies and books
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021
    Kahara likes this.
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Beautiful vow exchanges!
     
    Kahara and AzureAngel2 like this.
  11. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Married and happy
    great ceremony
     
  12. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha & @earlybird-obi-wan: Thanks for reading and commenting! Here a quick update because I will meet a dear friend online soon.


    Chapter 31:


    Sionnach runs up to us, engulfing my wife and me in a frantic hug. Soon, we are soaked with her tears. She is shouting at us and laughing at the same time. Her voice is so shaky that I cannot understand most of her words.

    Skje frees us from her tightening embrace. “They just came in from their honeymoon,” he snickers. “By the Northern Lights, give them some space to breathe!”

    I let my eyes wander through the Hall of Fire. It is decorated for a typical Udaler wedding. I bet they already have animals in the stable, ready to be sacrificed.

    The patchwork family that Sionnach has gathered over the past sun years beams at us with satisfaction. I wronged them so many times, yet they find it in their hearts to forgive me. Through the Force I can feel their joy and forgiveness.

    Garou strides towards me, waving his arms cheerfully. “I knew you would leave Grianán alive and in one piece, papa!”

    “You were right.” I kneel in front of him, place my hands on his shoulders. “You were right about me.”

    Grianán notices that Bertha had fallen on the floor and reaches out for her loyal childhood companion. As soon as her finger tips make contact with the wooden planks, she is flooded with memories, I can tell that.

    As I rush after her falling body, catch it on time. “Easy now, easy, my love,” I start talking to my wife in a calm stream of words. “I am here right now and we are fine.”

    Her mouth snaps open and her teeth drill straight into my hand. I embrace the pain as much as I embrace her. If that is the price to have her bunkered in the correct time stream, I will bleed for her forever.

    Slow movements tell me that Grianán is coming back.

    “Please take it easy, love,” I beg her. “It is just the past that you see. The danger is over. You are safe. You freed me from the dark side. We married. Remember?”

    Her eyes open wide. She worries over my hand in her mouth ans spits it out.

    “Can Khion get me some tea?” she asks hopeful.

    “No; Khion is not here, my love. We are not on his boat any longer, but inside Varikino.” Her distress is almost breaking my heart. “That is your favourite rocking chair you are sitting in.”

    “Oh!” Shame floods her visibly. “I am so sorry.”

    “Don't be! Never be sorry when your gift takes over. I am the one who has to apologize here.”

    She cuddles closer.

    With great tenderness, I deepen our embrace. She relishes under my touch. I wish that it really means safety and happiness for her.

    “I am such a fool,” I confide in Grianán. “I forgot that I placed you on the floor for a short while before we left. That was actually when I went to get Bertha for you. To be honest, she had been in the drawer of my bedside cabinet since, well, since I lost you to Mórag.”

    This confession means the universe to her. “I will never tell the Brotherhood,” she assures me under her breath.

    Then she allows me to fuss over her. I make sure that she rests comfortably in the rocking chair.

    ********************************************************************

    Finally, I sneak away to prepare a little snack for my wife. She might need one when she wakes up again. Perhaps I also should set some chocolate for her.

    Draíocht looms around in the kitchen area. Her Elfin eyes glittering in the semi-dark.

    “Will the fear ever stop?” I ask and look at her.

    “Grianán's fear or your own, Luçien?”

    I break more of the chocolate in tiny pieces. “My feelings are only second to hers.”

    “You need to learn to love yourself before you can love her properly,” the former bean feasa states.

    “I am but a selfish bastard, full of myself.”

    “That knowledge will not help her heal.” Her usually composed face splits in a beautiful smile. “Give it up. Give it all up. Start living, and free of fear. There has been too much fear in your life.” Her calm voice holds no hate. There is only compassion in her. “Move on with your life. We all have our dark secrets.”

    “And I am hers,” I joke.

    “Her soul called out for yours, keen on making you whole. Now it is your turn. Nobody else can do it.”

    ********************************************************************

    The sweet smell of chocolate tickles my wife awake. She open her eyes to see me holding the mug. For her I am still unmasked; there is no hiding any more.

    “Buon mattino il sole. Spero tu abbia dormito bene.” I can tell my laughter ripples through her body. Good morning, sunshine. I hope you slept well.

    She nods.

    I readjust her blanket. “Take your time to enjoy the chocolate. The wedding guests will not arrive before the early afternoon.”

    “Thank you.” She starts drinking. “There was some man singing to me all night long.”

    “Scandalous,” I answer. “I will hunt him down when I see him. Keeping you awake with ridiculous lullabies.”

    “I actually liked them. That was very sweet of you, thank you.”

    Her words kindle that spark of brightness in me that is there since our wedding day.

    Suddenly, her gaze gets thoughtful. “You wanted to talk to Sionnach about something important, did you not?”

    I nod.

    She gets up carefully and walks towards Draíocht.

    “I never met somebody as devoted as you are, Grianán,” the lean Daoine Sidhe says from behind her cookery pots. “It is deeper than even Sionnach could imagine. I wonder what Mórag created within you.”

    “She made me her successor.”

    I realize that I have a serious problem with the Order of the beanma feasa now. For I married their religious leader. Somebody who is supposed to hold on to chastity and celibacy.

    “Ah, this is why a letter of pardon arrived for me at the long-house before it burned down.” With a malice gaze towards me Draíocht adds, “Your Holiness.”

    My wife blushes. “Call me Grianán. Within the order, we should be sisters in faith. Not master and servant.”

    Draíocht brushes her long Elfin hands over her apron. “Religious changes are never easy. I hope you are aware of what you fight against.”

    “I survived Luçien courting me.”

    “True,” Draíocht snickers. “I also believe you to be capable of intrigues and an inventive mind.”

    I believe that to be an understatement, but who am I to disturb women with my assumptions.

    ********************************************************************************

    Soon, I walk outside with Sionnach, carrying two chairs with me. “Do you need a blanket?” I inquire, while putting the chairs down at the veranda.

    “No, thank you.” Sionnach shakes her head and makes herself comfortable. “Here in the full sun it is warm enough.”

    “Where shall I start?” I ask, nervous to look her straight in the eyes.

    “Perhaps at the beginning?” Her voice is soft, but I can hear the rattling of Tjiehennet style through it. “When hate turned into love?”

    “I never hated Grianán. It was impossible. She has an abundance of kindness that makes resentment difficult. Her sweetness touched me from our first encounter.”

    She ponders on my words for a long time before she asks, “Because she is a witchling who bewitched you with her grey eyes and put you in never-ending agony?”

    I glance at my fingers. “It is not that easy,” I answer in a measured tone. “Things with Grianán never are. She is capable of, let’s say... refreshingly different approaches to logical thought.”

    Her almond eyes narrow. “So you mean that she is air-headed, but pretty enough to tempt you?”

    “No.” I groan.” Grianán is one of the most clear-minded and brilliant people that I know.”

    Sionnach surprises me by freely quoting from the Holy Scriptures. “So you have found a woman more bitter than death, who is the hunter’s snare, and her heart is a net, and her hands are bands.”

    My throat is closing, like someone has fed me glass. I feel a bead of seat roll down my back.

    “Had you not been so focused on your own grief and especially that guilt of yours, we could have spoken freely of this long ago,” she with a sigh. “The dark side would have had less of a grip on you. That cannot be undone. It is good that you can talk of it now.”

    My head is spinning. “I still hate myself for the horrible decisions that I made at Polysýndeton. The blood of hundreds of citizens has stained my hands. I brought even more darkness into the lives of Agathos and Narthex. And I killed our children along with their nanny.”

    “The Force storm killed them,” Sionnach corrects me, her voice shivering like a leaf in the wind.

    My chin jerks up. “It was me causing all that destruction. Without me, Adamah would not have gone mad like this. Had Isabeau been at her side, this...”

    “You made a wrong choice there, true.” Lovingly, she takes my hands into hers. “But you were not the one who unleashed the Force on the temple district. Your guilt did not even allow you to admit that one good thing came from it. Arcānā redeemed herself.”

    I gape at Sionnach.

    “Let us not place recriminations nor name those we have lost forever,” she suggests. “Tell me about that bond between you and Grianán instead.”

    “Certainly,” I whisper, my voice clogged. “What is it do you want to know?”

    ********************************************************************

    Sionnach has many questions and I work through them over the course of the next hour. Some are easier to answer than other. When I start hesitating over responses, she holds a hand up.

    “That’s more than enough, for now. Let us finish our own affairs!” She sweeps from her chair and looks down on me expectantly. “Please repeat your excuse for your scam of our marriage. A piece of paper is not enough to put me at ease.”

    Poor Skje. “Do you need witnesses?” I suggest carefully. “We can go inside and...”

    “No, we will do this right here on this porch,” she insists.

    In earnest, I kneel in front of the woman that I dishonoured more than once. “Sionnach O’Conghaile. From this day on you are free! Free from me and the House Ankou! I am sorry that I was not always a gentleman with you. Nor was I the master an excellent student of the Force would have needed.”

    “Indeed,” she says through tears. “You may turn our rings into a lump of metal.”

    I take both our wedding rings out of a small leather pouch that carry with me. Then I place them down on the veranda, sending a single bolt of Force lightning towards them. They burst into specks of dust, as if they had never existed at all.

    “You can have visiting rights with Garou.” Sionnach dries her tears with one of her sleeves. “And, of course, for Éibhear, if he still wants that. Somebody showed him the remains of his biological father. They were in a jute bag, if that rings a bell for you.”

    O’Gradaigh. The Draconian Secret Service must have found his grave.

    Sionnach’s clear voice rings through my head, distracting me. “We do not need to hear anything from your mother Flor.

    As if he knew the conversation had eased, Skje appears and ask with a wide grin, “Would either of you like more tea?”

    Simultaneously, Sionnach and I give him our mugs.

    His sky blue eyes glow with mirth. “I bet you are also in urgent need of a cookie to calm down!”

    I am blessed to have a friend like him. And he is not the only blessing in my life. Now that anger, pain and fear to not control me any longer, I can take a more thorough look at the persons around me, and see how they all enrich me.

    ********************************************************************

    The family breakfast comes with a surprise. Ciall proposes to Draíocht. We are all thrilled. Three marriages will take place in the afternoon, a threefold blessing. The Force is with us all.

    While everybody congratulates the two Elves lavishly, Ruadhan and I hold back. Only the two of us know that he had once fallen in love with a teenage Arcānā. It is a long story, bitter-sweet and full of betrayal. In its end lay the death of dauphine Adamah and her unborn daughter.

    “The circle is complete, wouldn’t you say so?”

    I waver when I recognize Arcānā’s voice, which speaks directly in my mind. There is a cold draft around me, coming from the Netherworld of the Force. But it does not feel evil.

    “Evil?” echoes the Force ghost, still not visible. “That would be poor behaviour on my account on a day like this. No, Luçien. I am simply here to pay my homage to Sionnach like everybody else. If you would excuse me.”

    She did not reprimand me about Grianán. I take that as a good sign. To ask for her motherly blessing would be a bit much. I should not anger her, but be happy for her silence.

    Skje saunters towards me, a wide grin on his bearded face. I can tell that he is up to no good. “I hope for yourself that you are good at friendly negotiations.”

    Frowning, I ask, “Negotiating for what?”

    “This is the North.” Mirth shines in his eyes. “Marriage is the core of the family. A wedding is thus an important transition not only for the couple but also for all the relatives involved. So if you want to marry a woman around here you need to pay a bridal price for her. ”

    I am prepared to do that. Money is not an issue for me. It also comes in handy that the citizens of Fort Cité have been so generous in helping my wife already.

    While we walk towards the group of men sitting on the veranda, Skje makes his entire plan known to me. “In the absence of Grianán’s father and brothers, I will negotiate her bride price. Sionnach and I have already talked about it.”

    Wary, I ask, “Should I be worried?”

    Friendly laughter answers me. “You mistake me for a merchant. This is not the market place of your birth town. We are much more civilised folk around here.”

    I doubt that a lot, but it gladdens me that my wife has people to stand up for her interests.

    ********************************************************************

    A Northern marriage is indeed a legal contract with implications for, among other things, inheritance and property relations; the wedding itself is but the solemnization of a pact. The involved families promise to help each other through good times and bad.

    Since Grianán and I are already married, the first step – the date of the betrothal – is skipped. Under the eyes of many witnesses we negotiate the dowry – heimanfylgja – and wedding presents – mundr – from my own family. All of these will be the personal property of my wife.

    We are still in the middle of the negotiations, when two of Grianán’s siblings appear on horse back.

    Prince Èleos and Princess Daná both look haunted and worried. In the Force, they feel like natural disasters due to happen. I rise to meet them.

    Her sister rushes towards me, shouting, “Is Grianán your bottom?”

    “My what?”

    “Your submissive?” she snarls.

    I pale, thinking of the dreadful club that Temperance once dragged me to. “Why would she be?” I ask.

    “And what about the bondage stuff?” The eyes of the new dauphine drill into mine. They are as hard as diamonds. “The humiliation?”

    I have no fitting answer to that.

    “Explain at least the throat cutting that took place before the actual kidnapping!”

    Prince Èleos places his gloved hands on her trembling shoulders. “What difference does it make now? He is here, and our sister is alive.”

    For an instant, I feel the dark side gathering around all of us, but then Skje joins our little group.

    “I went ahead with the bridal price negotiations if you do not mind, Your Royal Highnesses,” he informs the royal siblings with a winning grin. “But the groom is a bit stubborn.”

    “Is he now?”

    Suddenly, Princess Daná sounds weary and tired. I can see the crack that goes right through her soul. An injury that I caused with my unspeakable actions against her beloved sister.

    “His Lordship wants to pay an extra price, because he insists that he has a life debt to the royal family.”

    “Skje is right.” I speak of something that has been recently been resting on my heart. “The light side is about the peace of the heart. And about servitude.”

    “Hear, hear!” snarls the new dauphine snarls.

    My next words are meant for Prince Èleos who has his emotions better in check than his sister. “If you want me to, my liege, I will willingly place myself into your service, as a Force knight.”

    The eldest son of my former arch-enemy looks surprised. “You want to be a paladin of the Force?”

    “I want to be all that is needed to heal the royal family and the kingdom.”

    Princess Daná glowers at me. “Do not buy that bantha podoo, Eli. He just wants to save his neck.”

    “In the Name of the Force,” sighs Prince Èleos. “Let the man explain himself. We owe him that much.”

    “We owe him?" She blinks, her lashes fluttering over her large, somewhat wounded eyes. “He owes us. And our father. He broke his heart.”

    “You do not know that.” Her brother´s voice is calm, but monotone. “Our father always had a weak heart.”

    ********************************************************************

    The wedding ceremony is held in the open, to provide visibility and space for the many guests that have come.

    It falls on Prince Éleos to deliver Grianán. As the customs of the Udalers demand, he bears a sword that is her wedding gift for me.

    The three grooms each have to make a sacrifice to the gods of Draconis: Skje kills a goat for Dealg; Ciall stabs a boar for Darach; and I deliver a sow straight to Ischáh.

    The blood of the slaughtered animals is caught in a consecrated bowl. The flesh will later be a part of the actual wedding feast as I know from the feast that Coire and Rory gave for their own wedding so many years ago.

    Sionnach pales considerably during this gyðja, but manages not to faint.

    Following the exchange of the swords, we swoop our rings with those of our brides. The rings stand for the unbreakable nature of the wedding vows.

    When it is my turn, I say mine.

    “We swear by peace and love to stand,
    Heart to heart, and hand to hand.
    Mark, O Force, and hear us now,
    Confirming this, our Sacred Vow.”


    My words still echo in the air when Sionnach steps in front of us, beaming. She opens her arms and quotes an old Elfin wedding blessing, which she alters slightly as she goes along.


    “May the Force be with you and bless you,
    May you see your children's children;
    May you be poor in misfortune and rich in blessings;
    May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.
    May joy and peace surround you both,
    Contentment latch your door,
    And happiness be with you now and
    May the Force bless you evermore, forever more,
    May you live
    Fill your life with trust, and nurture lifelong affection,
    May your lifelong
    And allow your dreams to come true for you, move ever that direction.
    May the road rise to meet you,
    May the wind be always at your back,
    May the sun shine warm upon your face,
    The and the rains fall soft upon your fields.
    May the light of friendship guide your paths together.
    May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home.
    May the joy of living for each other trip a smile from your lips, a twinkle from your eye.
    And when eternity beckons, at the end of the a life heaped high filled with love,
    May the Force embrace you
    with the arms that have nurtured you,
    the whole length of your joy-filled days.

    And, today, may the Spirit of Love
    find a dwelling place in your hearts.”



    Sources:
    Ecclesiastes 7:26, The Holy Bible
    Two slightly altered Celtic blessings, with a nod towards the Berlin radio station "Radio Paradiso" who like to work with texts from "The Ilona Community" in Scotland
    Wookieepedia – The Star Wars Wiki
    Hidden quotes from SW movies and books[/USER]
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Sweet interactions and lovely vows
     
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  14. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    great ceremony and vows
     
  15. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha & @earlybird-obi-wan: Here is more!!! [:D]

    * also pokes @Kahara, @Cowgirl Jedi 1701, @Nehru_Amidala & @Darth_Furio


    Chapter 32:

    To sneak away from our own wedding celebrations does not seem right, but there is an urge inside my bride that needs to be fulfilled. And there is only one place were she feels safe enough to do so. At least for now.

    Temperance is waiting nearby the property that is no longer mine and ushers us into the space craft.

    Grianán’s heart is pounding wildly against my chest, while we get seated in the passenger compartment.

    The Holy Isle of Cunabula has ancient wedding rites. I am prepared to go through some of them for the wonderful woman at my side. One of the most crucial is the acceptance as her groom by her tribe.

    When we leave the star ship not much later, I open all the gates of my mind to make my presence known to all the able telepaths. Almost immediately a wave of curiosity clashes against me. I feel a community awareness of Grianán’s safe return. Her people here on the Holy Isle are happy for her, but they stay inside their houses, granting us absolute privacy. No blood sacrifice of mine seems to be required. My union with her is meant to be.

    We walk on in silence, the humid jungle night around us humming with thousand of life forms.

    Suddenly, Grianán giggles happily.

    “What is so funny?” I inquire.

    “I tell you another time!” she beams and walks on. If I am not wrong she is biting her cheeks.

    Immediately, I start to scan the surrounding stone buildings. Soon, I can spot three shapes on a roof.

    In old legends it’s always three hags that are responsible for human fate. Some call them the moirai, others the fata and the parcae. There is a spinner, an allotter and the unturnable one. The latter is a metaphor for death. Luna might be thus. I am not sure yet.

    “My bride maids for the wedding reception at Dún Barr if you don’t mind,” Grianán says softly. “I promised the girls a long time ago.”

    “Are you sure that they don’t want me dead and buried?” I counter.

    Grianán shrugs. “If they really wanted that, you would not be here.”

    The notorious rat pack laughs heartily and clash their Caipirinha glasses together for a toast. They give us a thumbs up.

    I gulp anyway. They are the dangerous trinity, who watched over my wife her entire life. Hopefully, I gained their trust and they are done now.

    After a short walk, Grianán and I stand in front of the staircase of the royal pyramid, framed by a million of orchids.

    “So, are you ready for me?” my wife demands to know sneakily.

    I bow down to kiss her. In that kiss, I tell her everything. For once in my life, I am not holding anything back.

    Grianán’s lips answer me, eager and angry. There is no fear. Just a deep longing, asking for relief.

    ********************************************************************

    While I carry Grianán towards the royal bedroom, which towers the entire island, our kiss becomes more intense. Our mouths move together in unrestrained love. There is a new meaning behind every touch and caress that we share.

    I interrupt our kiss, chuckling mildly. “So eager!”

    “What else would you expect?” she answers a little hoarsely. “I’ve waited long enough.”

    I caress her hair, smoothing the curls back from her left ear. “You deserve a fitting reward.”

    When my mouth leaves hers a small, needing moan escapes her lips. It becomes a gasp as I kiss my way down her throat to more sensitive areas. Her longing balances and mirrors my own. Yet I take my time and savour the feel of her.

    I gently lower us to the large hammock, allowing the truth of my feelings to wash over us. Something inside me shatters and colours, sable and crimson, explode within my eyes. I release myself into the shelter of my wife’s bright soul.

    The light side of the Force is indeed aligned with happiness, joy, love, and benevolence. It is generally concerned with the ideas of good, generosity, healing, and wisdom.

    In Grianán’s beautiful eyes I can see all that I was, all that I am right now, and all that I am meant to be. Our joining is slow and purposeful.

    We drift into sleep together at the first rays of day light, holding hands.

    ********************************************************************

    Grianán and I wake up due to Prince Éleos and the new god queen in waiting glowering down on us.

    “You are getting good at vanishing,” the dauphine lets her twin sister know sourly. “We were all very concerned!”

    “You came all the way up the pyramid to tell me that?” Grianán asks, placing the thin cotton bedsheets decently over us.

    “Off to Dún Barr with you, wench!” Princess Daná snarls and storms off.

    Prince Éleos lingers on a bit longer, looking me straight in the eyes. “Of all possible places, did it really need to be this bed chamber?”

    This I can also answer. “This place always has been Grianán’s sanctuary. I wanted her to be at ease with me.”

    His sister’s shrill voice rose up to us. “I am still waiting! Don’t make me come and get you, Gri!”

    “The ship will take too long,” my wife sighs. “There is a short cut to Dún Barr through a forgotten porta nigra in the bowels of the castle. The girls and I found it around my sixth birthday.”

    The paladin gives her a half smile. “I wonder what else your best friends and you have in stock for me. Those secrets seem to pile up.”

    ********************************************************************

    I am pleased to see that Grianán’s siblings have planned a double wedding at Dún Barr done in Amnionian style. The engagement ceremony will take place in the royal library, where the brides and grooms are supposed to exchange their rings.

    As there is no bride mother to give away the dowry, Caelestris takes up the task. I am happy to see her in such good health. Before she hands over some symbolic household items to her sisters, she grants me a brief smile.

    Princess Daná is given the keys of the castle, a hammock from Cunabula and a cookery pot from the Mare Coloris.

    My wife receives an ancient copy of her favourite love novel, a jungle orchid in a flower pot, and a pole weapon.

    After an exchange of hugs and kisses we all enter the dining room for the actual wedding reception. It turns out to be a huge party filled with old friends. During the night, Parhelion has flown back to Amnion and collected all family members of the Kyrene clan, who were not on Aconite’s side. There are also former school friends and neighbours of Boreas.

    The nicest surprise is the presence of Khion Aletheia and his mother Calothrix. I have not counted on them crossing Kairos. In a brief moment Prince Èleos entrusts me that they have asked for political sanctuary on Draconis. The procedures are already running.

    The entire staff of Dún Barr is also present. Those who are not serving drinks or food have blended in with the other guests.

    The physical traditions fill me with glee. Dishes are smashed on the floor for good luck. Money is thrown at the musicians. Trays with candy-coated almonds, also known as koufeta are served to everybody. Our wedding guests present more money and more wedding gifts to us.

    Everybody wants us to have luck and fortune, too. My cheeks are sore from getting kissed. Yet it makes me happy. I lived in Grianán’s world now, where touch, closeness and love are essential.

    Sionnach turns up in the middle of the celebration, her entire clan in tow.

    “We meant to be here earlier, but...” she trails off with a flushed face and an embarrassed smile.

    I spot some love marks on her slender neck, before my wife grips her hand silently. Both women watch how Éibhear and Garou embrace me enthusiastically.

    Skje greets me hastily, dragged towards the buffet by his son Skylt.

    Ruadhan Ahearne and his soul brother Ciall O’Maoilrian give me a nod as they passed by, engaged in a discussion.

    Sionnach offers an explanation. “Da smelled something familiar on the way to the castle and is worried.”

    “Ah,” I say, hopeful that Taran would not carry murderous plans in his heart for tonight.

    We lean closer together, smiling from all the activities around us.

    “I like your dress, Grianán,” Sionnach offers her royal cousin cheerfully. “You should wear Amnionian tunics more often. They suit you.”

    “They would be ridiculous with the weather around here! Besides, my siblings find me eccentric and self-focused already.”

    It pleases me to watch the two young women to break out in carefree laughter.

    Heulwen stares at us from her place next to the band. Her look is difficult to read.

    “Is there a way to fix that?” Grianán asks full of sorrow.

    “Garou advised me to give it some time before we try to talk to her.”

    ********************************************************************

    Skje has volunteered to be the official koumbaros, our best man. One of his many duties included putting our wedding crowns on. The stefana consisted of entwined ribbons in white and silver, painted with blossoms and vines. Grianán and her twin sister Daná also wear red veils to keep evil spirits at bay.

    My wife keeps her dazzling smile on me during all the traditional wedding dances. One is the kalamatiano, a traditional handkerchief dance; we all held on to a cotton handkerchief to connect us.

    As the hours wane, all the candles and chandeliers are extinguished to allow the silvery light of the moon to shine in. We participate in an ancient circle dance from Terra called choreia. It is during that dance that Doctor Hemutiu approaches Grianán.

    “There is a message for the two of you. You both are wanted at the West Tower immediately.”

    My wife nods. “I better hurry then.” Then she turns her attention to me. “I want you to meet my godfather.”

    I have a vague idea of this man’s identity. In the aftermath of Suaimhneas Grianán was in need of a new protector.

    ********************************************************************

    Grianán’s godfather has his back to us when we approach. Despite the cool weather, Taran only wears a light Elfin tunic and suitable silk breeches. His massive hair is combed and braided.

    “Silly lass!” He swirls around and engulfs my wife in a hug, but chooses to ignore me. “I could smell you the moment you left the wedding company.”

    She hugs him back. “You exaggerate, Carcra!”

    Of course, she knows his Elven soul name.

    “Okay, I had you in my nose when you started climbing up the stairs. You smell of cat. How can you live with that awful stench?”

    She sighs.

    Taran regards her thoughtfully under his thick eyebrows. “Mandrake root with a touch of night-shade and wolfs-bane. Jute ropes. You have such a forgiving nature, lass.”

    “Please forgive Luçien as well!” she begs.

    “The things I do to make you happy.”

    Without warning Taran tackles Grianán to the ground. Like two wolf whelps, they roll over the floor, until he says loud and clear, “We have a shared history and shared suffering, the lass and I.”

    “You did not have dinner that evening,” I suggest. “She was the woman I detected with you in that cave. You protected her from my madness and the bite of winter. For her you stayed in half-transformation, regenerating a lot of thermal warmth.”

    “My godchild seems happy with you tonight, Luçien.” Finally, his gaze meets mine. “It would be more than impolite to kill you.”

    My cheekbones work for a while before I get out, “I thank you for nursing Grianán back to health. Were you really with her the entire winter?”

    “You used Force lightning and poisonous tattoo ink on her. They both take time to heal.” He runs a badly shaking hand through his hair. “Why the freck did you enter the royal crypts of Cunabula? Did it ever occur to you that the Undead down there want our Grianán to be a fallen angel, tainted for all eternity?”

    I have no answer to that. My shoulders stiffen.

    “See you soon, Carcra!” Grianán kisses Taran briefly. “And please do not murder Ruadhan!”

    “I will finish off the lamb chops instead.”

    ********************************************************************

    When the three of us leave the West Tower, Princess Daná comes running towards us. The dauphine goes straight into combat position the very moment that she sets eyes on my wife.

    The Tiger style’s combat strategy is meant to destroy one opponent with a relentless and unrestrained attack. It is considered a powerful method, designed to shock somebody into fear and panic. But with the two Tjiehennet princesses using it on each other, the result is disaster on both sides. Yet Taran and I do not interfere. The sisters seem to need this confrontation.

    They fight each other hard and dirty. Their wedding dresses are torn in no time and the stefana crowns broken.

    Then there is a moment, when I sense that my wife yields deliberately. It is a dangerous strategy, used by her before. On me and on Aconite. Three seems to be a magical number for her.

    While Daná presses her sandals into Grianán’s face she screeches, “It is not about who cuts into our wedding cake! But did it ever occur to you that you might hurt Heulwen’s feelings?”

    “About what?”

    “That thing murdered her mother in front of her when she was a baby.”

    I interfere. “Is Heulwen in the dining room?”

    “No!” The nostrils of the dauphine flare. “Lucky for all of us she is not. Your sons decided to bring her to bed before the werewolf boldly walked in.”

    Once more I raise my voice. “Taran is innocent. It was Dran.”

    “Feel better now?” whispers my wife so meek that I hardly can hear her.

    “Yes, actually I do.” Princess Daná lifts her up from the floor with one strong, elegant pull. “Heulwen hates you, Goldilocks, and it gives me pleasure that you will need to work your little arse off to win her love.”

    Grianán laughs haughtily. “I love you, too.”

    “Glad you finally say that. I was not sure any more. You always seemed to trust the blasted rat pack more than you did me. They knew about your love for Luçien. I never did.” Her gaze scans my wife with sudden concern. “You look awful.”

    “Says who?” Grianán jokes and brushes softly at the remains of her sister’s wedding tunic.

    Bitter tears ran over the bruised face of the dauphine. “In the past we had bled together, fought our training battles shoulder to shoulder. Yet you turned to the rat pack for help, and not me, your own flesh and blood.”

    Now Grianán also had to cry and it tucks at my heart seeing her like this.

    “You do some foolish things sometimes, Goldilocks. Yet I can’t help but love you, even when you constantly break my heart.”

    As I watch the sisters embracing one another, I am thinking about Isabeau and all that could have been if I had made different choices.

    Discreetly, Taran sneaks away.

    “Look at you!” Princess Daná roars with supreme laughter. “If Isa would be alive she would make us do five-hundred push-ups!”

    “Nay!” Unceremoniously, my wife spits out a loose tooth. “She would scold us for mentioning the dead by name. Then she would have beaten us with bamboo sticks. Afterwards she would have sprinkled salt into our wounds for such a lack of discipline and bad countenance.”

    Hearing that makes me glad and sad alive. Isabeau had learned the way of the city anyway. The serail had taught her tough lessons.

    “Countenance!” Princess Daná giggles and interrupts my train of thought. “Remind me again what that was. I might need that skill as the future god queen.”

    Countenance is the very trade that distinguishes a lady from a mere animal. You should show it outside your homestead at any occasion.”

    The young women gaze at each other in silence for a moment. Then they bow simultaneously like two huntresses meeting.

    A dim smile forms on my lips.

    Not only my wife is a surprise from every angle.

    As the unlike twin sisters continue to walk back to the ballroom hand in hand, I bend down to pick up the lost tooth and tuck it away for save keeping.

    ********************************************************************

    “Do not be alarmed!” The dauphine calls out as we enter the ballroom again. “There are differences in every family now and then. But never forget, sunshine follows each rain fall.”

    The Chéf de la cuisine, the High Chamberlain of Dún Barr plus the Premier Marshal of the Household, are among those who laugh the hardest. I make a mental note to appease those three more in future.

    The way that the gathered staff members look at both princesses tells me, that the Tjehennet family does extend deep into the ranks of household staff. Both Agathos and Narthex created something unique here. Back on Sapuhru I was feared and worshipped by the ducal home stead and the citiziens, but I was never as loved as the Serpent-spawn.

    I give Grianán a warm side look, happy for her upbringing here at Dún Barr. Love has been her coat in her darkest hours.

    In the meantime Princess Daná rises her voice again. “Let me assure you, all is well between me and my beloved sister Grianán! Please, continue to enjoy this wedding party. There is still enough food and drink for everybody.”

    My wife pokes her in the ribs with no decorum.

    “Oh yes, of course.” The dauphine moves her hands through her hair, visibly trying to focus on what to say next. “Some of you might have wondered why Commander Cú Síth is among us. Grianán has decided to present you her wonderful godfather tonight.”

    I hear a few gasps. I do not need to look into the direction of Sionnach to know where they came from.

    “Commander, it is an honour to have you here tonight.”

    Taran grants Princess Daná a bright grin.

    From the corner of my eye I see my wife falter.

    “Dizzy,” she whispers.

    I put one hand on her upper arm, relaxed and natural so as not to draw attention to her lack of balance. My eyes travel slowly upward from her feet to her head, where they linger. I sense that she has double vision by now.

    “I.. I... you... you...”, my wife stutters, bewildered by the fact that my features appear skewed to her.

    “Hush, my love. No need to talk. Spare your energy.” I gently pull her into my arms and kiss her hand lightly, already letting healing energy flow into her veins. “You have a severe concussion and internal bleeding. So does your sister.”

    That is the last thing Grianán comprehends, before she blacks out on all of us.

    I exchange a look with Valiant. My cousin and I nod at one another. The dauphine will be in excellent hands. I can fully focus on my wife.

    “Good, that this one is married to an able Force healer,” Taran grins at me, munching on a sugar-coated almond. “For some reason she always picks up a silly fight.”

    Sionnach pops up next to my left elbow. “If you do not mind, Luçien, I would like to offer my humble services.”

    “By all means, follow me.” It makes me glad to be backed up by my former Force student. “My wife is indeed a handful. Four hands to heal her will be brilliant.”

    ********************************************************************

    As Sionnach and I hurry into the wedding suite with our patient, I cannot help to notice that the bed is decorated with almond chains. Grianán’s siblings have not left out any Amnionian wedding tradition.

    As I place my wife on the mattress, Sionnach traces the edge of her jaw with a finger. “How, in the Name of the Force did she lose that tooth?”

    “You don’t want to know,” I answer wearily. “But thank you for coming along and assisting me.”

    “You are very welcome, Luçien.” Sionnach’s fingers wander over my wife’s ribs. “We better combine our healing powers, like in the old days. I want to be sure that there is no fracture unattended.”

    “Me neither.”

    White light begins to cover Grianán from head to toe.

    I close my eyes dreamingly, feeling boneless and liquid. Time loses its meaning as we repair what needs to be mended. There is just the Living Force and healing. For the three of us.

    “Try not to pick another fight any time soon, Grianán,” I hear Sionnach say from far away. “And Luçien? Make her see a tooth specialist soon.”

    I sniff indignantly. “I cannot make my wife do things, but I will certainly bring the urgency of such a visit to her attention.”

    Sionnach’s steps are light when she leaves the room.

    As Grianán remains lying on the bed, her breathing even, I pop the most important question, “Do you trust me?”

    She opens her eyes slowly.

    “Do you trust me?” I repeat with a gentle smile.

    “I am trying my best.” Her voice is calm, but I cannot help to notice that her hands begin to shake. She presses them flat against her belly to still them. “Especially after last night.”

    “That is an answer I can live with.” I walk to the head of the bed. “Now close your eyes again, if you please.”

    She does my bidding, her heart visibly racing fast in her chest.

    “Relax! I promise that this won’t hurt.”

    I race to the en-suite bathroom to get the items that I need.

    My wife shivers when she hears the slosh of water.

    “A chasseuse gets washed by her husband when she returns home with her prey. The feet are always done first. That is the tradition of my people.”

    Her eyes flutter open. She stares at the sponge in my left hand and the bowl of water that I hold in the other one. I witness her gather courage in one deep breath. “Would... would you... would you rather we bathe together and do this? And not only my feet?”

    This is a suggestion to sweet to turn down. “Your home, your rules,” I grin.

    “No, our home,” she objects. “And in love there are no rules.”

    Freely quoting the ancient rede of her ancestors. What a minx! She can be glad that my days as a witch hunter are over.

    Smirking, I cover her in kisses.


    Sources:
    Wookieepedia – The Star Wars Wiki
    Hidden quotes from SW movies and books
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2021
  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Super interactions ... love Grianan's sweet nature
     
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  17. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    And since it´s the 2nd Easter for me without family and friends, just my husband & me being stranded in our flat, here is another update:


    Chapter 33:

    The next morning, the dauphine has a surprise for the family fathering at the breakfast table. “Boreas and I will go on a honeymoon, sailing the Southern Isles with a clipper,” she states regally over her large mound of pancakes. “That leaves you, Blandita chiara, in charge of the government affairs. Only ask Ce and Gri for help when it is really necessary. They need a holiday, too.”

    Her sister in question drops her fork. “But I am a violinist.”

    “The Draconian state orchestra has no standing appointments this season. I’ve checked.”

    “But I am no good with government affairs. They give me a headache.”

    “Acting as a god queen is much like playing an instrument.” Princess Daná spreads a generous amount of powdered sugar over her pancakes. A white cloud forms over her plate. “Therefore I trust you to make the right choices when we are gone. Ari is there to back you up.”

    Miss Djed, the Director of State Intelligence, grins carefree. “Your wish is my order, Your Royal Highness. I bet the Department of Defence will not mind either.”

    “Nope,” answers Miss Merkhet with a full mouth, her lips smeared with chocolate paste. “Have fun, boss; and secure the line of succession.”

    Boreas exchanges a tender look with his newly-wed wife. “We already might have done so on the day Gri went missing, but it is too early to say.”

    Valiant, who is on duty in the breakfast room, states loud and distinct, “No, it is not. You have been pregnant for approximately five weeks and expect twins. I found out when I healed you last night. So, no more vendettas with Gri for you.”

    If all breakfast mornings with my family-in-law will be as informal like this, I am in for interesting times.

    “Twins. Who would have thought?” Daná grants us all a radiant smile, excited about the prospect of motherhood.

    I hope I am allowed to be an uncle. After all what I pulled with two of her sisters the dauphine has every right in the universe to despise me.

    Princess Daná darts her gaze towards me. “Luçien?”

    “Yes, Your Divine Majesty?” I give my best not to look too shocked of basking in her full attention all that sudden.

    “I spoke with Éleos.”

    Her smile seems honest, but I remain cautious anyway. We have too much negative history together. Our wounds will take ages to heal.

    “You are on honeymoon leave as well,” Princess Daná informs me. “My sister is to be your only priority for now.”

    ********************************************************************

    After breakfast, Daná and Boreas go straight to the landing platform. We all, members of the faithful staff included, wave the royal couple goodbye. Flying handkerchiefs, laughter, rice, smiles and flower buds fill the air.

    “Our Daná, happily married and babies already on the way,” Chéf Norn sniffs close to me.

    The High Chamberlain hugs the massive Udaler woman from behind. I gather from this intimacy that they are both close friends. “The girl will be fine; she always is. Motherhood will steer her away from the dark side even more.”

    I cannot continue to listen to them because Mistress Lindberg approaches Grianán with an envelope. “Daná wanted you to have this,” she explains. “It is compensation for the tooth that you lost in combat.”

    Hastily, my wife tears the envelope open and starts to read. Once. Twice. Thrice.

    “Bad news, my love?”

    “Au contraire.” She beams at me, relaxed and happy. “The opposite is the case. My sister made you Grand Steward of Dún Barr. It is her wedding gift. You are the official administrator of these castle grounds now. But how could she...?”

    Prince Èleos cuts in, “We all agreed that your husband needs a new title and his own land when he gave up his heritage.”

    There are so many things I want to say, but I only manage an excuse directed at my wife. “I am sorry that your dreams of being Lady Ankoù can never come true.” I lean over and press a kiss on her right temple. “Tourbillion is the new ducal heir.”

    “A fact that Val informed us of dutifully.” Prince Èleos looks pleased. “When we heard of it, we wanted to give you even more reason to stay away from Sapuhru and your old life.”

    Before I can react, Caelestris makes me another unexpected offer. “If you don’t mind, I would like to help you settle in, Luc.”

    Her calling me thus means that she remembers our old friendship. And that she still harbours friendly feelings for me despite my dark deeds. “You honour me, Ce.” I blush and lower my eyelids.

    “I am also a bit selfish.” She points discretely at one of the footmen of Dún Barr. “Hayden cannot imagine living at the Holy Isle.”

    “If you wish, the two of you can live with us,” I offer. “It will be nice having family around throughout the year”

    There is a blush on her face. “I actually plan to fill the castle with even more family. I hope that you...”

    Too well I remember the unmarked grave for her still-born daughter. “Of course, I will,” I say hastily. “I know some places of interest that Hayden and you should visit.”

    ********************************************************************

    Several hours later, my wife is sitting on a horse. Her older sister, Caelestris, is riding next to her. The women are holding hands while we slowly travel through Ceilonwyn. There are two pack horses behind us, heavily loaded.

    “Trust is still difficult for me,” Grianán just says loud enough that I can catch her words through the lively bird concert around us. “Even though Luçien is sweet these days.”

    Caelestris begins caressing the back of her sister’s hand with a thumb.“I exactly know how you feel, Grianán. There are times when I am completely at ease with Hayden. Then I get upset for no reason and start crying.”

    I hold my tongue. This is between sisters.

    A tear runs down my wife’s left cheek. “Sometimes it is so hard. Especially to believe in myself again.”

    “I also have been there. Do not let the dark side determine your way. There is love all around you. Embrace the light again. Let go of all your fears and hurt.”

    “That is easier said than done,” Grianán replies gloomily.

    “And this is why we are on the road now. If we had stayed at Dún Barr, we would have been at risk to repeat old, unhealthy patterns.”

    “You sound like Mora.”

    “Mora was indeed a great help for me. And so was Sionnach.” Caelestris smiles, obviously filled with memories. “Both know the dark side very well. We can be glad to have them around.”

    ********************************************************************

    In the evening, we camp next to a little lake. Hayden and I take care of the horses, insisting that our women both relax.

    Grianán seems to be stiff from a day in the saddle. Moaning softly, she gets rid of her long leather boots and waggles her toes in the cool air. Following Caelestris’ example, she puts her feet right into the icy water.

    While the ladies dry off their legs, I bring them two mugs, filled with steaming hot white chocolate. “Hayden and I agreed that we wait until after dinner before erecting the tent,” I offer. “I hope that is okay with the two of you.”

    “What is for dinner then?” Caelestris asks.

    “Norn made some Kalpos stew with elk meat, claiming it was your favourite, Ce. We warmed it up already.”

    “Excellent!” My new sister-in-law gets to her feet and runs over to the camp fire.

    I kneel down to look Grianán straight in the eye. “You are getting better, my love. The Living Force gathers around you like a cloak of light. But there are still spots of darkness.”

    She flushes and lets her head sink.

    “It might take a while before your life and health get back to normal.” I sit down next to her. “Grianán, listen! Do not be in a hurry! One step at a time.”

    She starts to shake a bit. “I wish I could heal quicker and give everybody less trouble.”

    “You are not troublesome, my love.” Luçien opened his travel cloak and wrapped me in with him. “And about the speed of your recovery, it is irrelevant. What matters to me is that you start to believe in yourself again.”

    ********************************************************************

    The nightmare comes to my wife around midnight. Curious about its contains, I plunge in as well.

    Dramatically, my twin brother Aconite spins around in his large office chair. He steeples his fingertips together under his chin. For almost twenty sun years, he has waited for his revenge on me. A hatred like that never dies.

    The guards salute as one. “Your Excellency!”


    “Leave us!” Aconite orders them briskly. “I will deal with this aggressive intruder alone.”

    The electrical door opens and the men march out, their boots loud against the floor.


    As my eyes adjust to the lighting conditions, I am able to get a closer look at my twin.

    Nothing in his features shows that he is of Ophidiae origin. As far as the citizens of Polysýndeton are concerned, he is a local boy who has made it very far in the political arena. He is admired for his eloquence, sharp mind and – especially among the ladies – for his stunning looks. I am the only family member of the royal court who cares for him.


    Aconite saunters closer, with no haste in his smooth movements.


    I stay as still as possible, purposely making no move to run away. He needs this confrontation. I owe him.

    “You don't know how hard I found it, signing the order to terminate your life,” he tells me, squeezing my chin in his right hand.


    I look into his fathomless eyes. “I'm surprised that you had the courage to take the responsibility yourself.”

    With his free hand he clutches the back of my skull. He is strong enough to break my neck. “Luçien and I have much in common,” he breathes.

    “Loving me into bits and pieces?” I suggest.

    Aconite is not easily provoked. His thin lips form a crooked smile. “You should have never come back here.”

    “I am so sorry to disappoint you!” I put inflection and truth in my voice. I never want to disappoint my siblings.

    Both of his hands gild towards my throat now. His thumbs start to massage my larynx.“Not sorry enough for my taste.”

    “You look good. Aurora was a fine foster-mother. I am happy that she filled your existence with her light. Grandfather Narthex thought highly of her.”

    “Charming to the last.” His eyes are like dark pools of water. Even the deep sea held more life.

    “Am I to die so soon?”

    “The sooner the better,” he leers. “I do not have the luxury of seeing this world through the Force. I see only the real world. You forced me to live on like this. I hate you.”

    Aconite continues to press, but the red, merciful curtain will not sink down over my consciousness. My Midi-chlorians help me to balance my air deficit.

    “Your feeble health destroyed my future!” he growls. “Mother wanted to have her legacy carried on by her seventh daughter. You.” The physical exertion makes him clench his teeth. “It had to be you, and never me.”

    To argue that I never had wanted the responsibility of cleaning up her mess will not be helpful. Suddenly, he realizes that his attempt to kill me this way is futile. He pushes me away in disgust.

    “Feel better now?” I inquire softly.


    For my brother Aconite, the Force is a concept that he does not understand very much. This is made evident as he thinks aloud of alternative methods to kill me while I stand motionless in front of him.

    “Drowning will take too long and you just escape anyway. Same with hanging. Poison will not work either, I fear. Stabbing you is too messy. Burning you would be a religious statement that I could not make.”

    My brother’s voice fades into the background as I begin concentrating on my upcoming wedding day. I have no wedding dress, shoes, or veil. There is also nobody to give me away at the altar. My father is no more and there are no family or friends in reach. I will marry in secret like some runaway. If I would be an Elfin lady like Coire, I would be disgraced forever and shunned by society.

    Suddenly, Aconite cheers, “Yes, of course, that is how we do it!”

    I am pretty sure that neither I nor Luçien will like it.

    I indeed do not fancy any of the things that occurred to my wife in the city hall. My voice cuts through her memories by singing a love song of my people.

    Before the melody of my song can fade, Grianán encourages me to give her comfort in a more physical way. Smiling in the dark, I oblige. I kiss down her skin, my fingertips following my lips, caressing her everywhere.

    My wife pays my kindness back in equal tenderness.

    ********************************************************************

    The next morning we wake up feeling relaxed and nearly carefree. It is just as well; we will spend most of the day in the saddle again.

    The fresh air has a positive affect on Grianán. She enjoys being out in an area of Ceilonwyn that she does not know well.

    Later on in the evening both Tjiehennet princesses get spoiled by the lusty meal that Hayden and I come up with. It is a rich, creamy risotto dish with brandy, Parmesan cheese and meadow mushrooms.

    When Grianán’s nightmares visit her that evening, my touch is enough to silence them. In the dark she snuggles closer to me and encourages me to speak to her.

    “In the past I embraced the dark side to seize power and wash unwanted emotions away. The dark side helped to dim my pain and fears, smoothed out the edges of reason. My anger seemed to grant me endless possibilities.”

    I stop speaking. Instead, my lips start wandering over her body. It pleases me that my goatee tickles her pleasantly with each kiss. She makes funny noises.

    “You are much nicer to embrace,” I let her know. “And much, much warmer. I cannot believe what a fool I was.”

    Due to my own honesty, Grianán finds the courage to voice an idea. “My ancestors inside the Holy Crypt... did they ever speak to you like Rudhan said?”

    “Yes they did, and I was foolish enough to listen.” I start breathing heavily, remembering all the foul things I met down there. “They promised me endless power and knowledge. I thought I could outwit them – and the dark side – for the better of my people.”

    “You were wrong,” she concludes.

    “Self-control is but an illusion for a Darksider. I learned that the hard way.” I rest my chin on her belly.” You were my catalyst. My Force dyad.”

    As tears begin to run down my cheeks, she assures me gently. “I am here now.”

    “Half of you is,” I answer full of sorrow. “But I will not give up. Even if I have to kiss away all your fears each night for the rest of our lives.”

    *******************************************************************

    After another three days of travelling on horseback, we reach a mountain valley full of hot springs. Snow-white peaks shine bright in the sunlight. Thick steam hangs above the water.

    “Welcome to Vit Dimma.” I moved my horse closer to Grianán’s. “This place offers us beauty, calm and harmony.”

    “The Force is unusually strong here,” she comments dreamily. “Those rocks were not created by geothermal heated groundwater.”

    “You’re correct. My father brought this place to life almost three thousand years ago. It was his refuge when the other Force benders quarrelled. Not even Parhelion knows of these hot springs.”

    “Dealg here to heal himself recently?”

    I shake my head. “He would not dare to pollute it by any means. Since his close encounters with the dark side, he usually goes to Polaris and meditates.”

    “Polaris? But...”

    “He is more energy than real matter,” I explain. “There are reasons why Parhelion and I can teleport. It is his heritage.”

    In the distance, we hear Caelestris shriek with glee. Then the sound of splashing water follows. “Come in, darling!” she calls out to Hayden. “It is gorgeous!”

    The groom tears off his clothing and joins her inside the hot spring.

    “Would you like to follow them, my love?” I suggest.

    A smile spreads across my wife’s face. “Let us find our own terrace.”

    “I thought Ophidiae do not mind company.”

    “Sometimes we do.” She slides off her saddle. “It really does depend on the situation.”

    ********************************************************************

    We stay almost a week at Vit Dimma, blessed with bright skies and soft winds. Bit by bit Grianán’s vile flashbacks lose their frightening intensity. I have long intense bath sessions for her, followed by even longer massage sessions. I even test the benefits of a chocolate massage on her.

    “What changed your harsh opinion of xocolatl?” she asks during the ordeal.

    “You,” I purr, while rubbing the chocolate oil onto her back.

    “So the use of chocolate does not lead to the dark side?” she teases me.

    “I had very stupid theories,” I reply somewhat sheepishly.

    “Not that stupid. My ancestors did horrible things with cocoa beans and the blood of their enemies.”

    I smile down at her, remembering the living corpses in the Holy Crypts. “You are nothing like your ancestors and I am so glad about that.”

    ********************************************************************

    After another sun week, we travel North-West. Here the Vattenånga River forms the Big Lake District with a thousand little islands, most of which were uninhabited.

    In a small community of fishermen we are able to hire a medium speedboat. It is a rustic cabin cruiser with a small dining area. Instead of one aft cabin it has two, both with small double beds.

    I pay a generous price for the boat’s deposit. In addition, I find somebody to bring the horses all the way back to Dún Barr.

    “Dreaming again, my love?” I inquire when I join my wife during a starboard.

    “I was just thinking about Cousin Khion and Aunt Calothrix.”

    “They will be just fine,” I assure her.

    “Uncle Kairos wants my siblings and me dead. What guarantees do I have that he does not similar homicidal plans for his own family?”

    Lightly, I kiss her forehead. “I know your uncle very well. He would never lay a hand against his wife or his only son.”

    ********************************************************************

    Four days later, we arrive at the larger harbour city of Nordfeuer. We leave our boat behind. The owner’s cousin wants to bring it back.

    “Ich habe Stijn, Noor und die Kinder schon lange nicht mehr gesehen. Dieser Auftrag macht mich sehr glücklich,” he explains to us. I have not seen Stijn, Noor and the children for a while. This assignment makes me happy.

    We buy six sturdy ponies, which will have no trouble travelling further to the North. Two of the animals are solely for our supplies and equipment.

    “I always wanted to see the low alpine tundra,” Hayden beams. “My ancestors lived there, before moving to the mountains.”

    Soon, my companions admire the landscape. It has continuous plant cover, with willow species, blueberries, common juniper and twin flowers.

    Camping out in the open is fun for everybody. The weather is to our advantage; there is no rain and the winds during the day are surprisingly mild. The nights have a chilly edge to them, but sharing a blanket with Grianán under the starry sky is romantic. Especially when we look up to the aurora borealis, the Northern Skylights, together.

    “Why do they call your father the Skywalker?” she carefully inquires during our second night in the tundra.

    “He wanders around often and preaches about the Force.”

    “Can you see yourself following his footsteps?”

    To this I shrug. “No, I am not much of a preacher. And after what happened to you, I also think it would be wiser for me to lead a less religious life from now on.”

    She manages to wrap our blanket tighter around us.

    In comfortable silence we gaze at the nightly spectacle above us. It is filled with magical colours and explosions of light.


    Sources:
    Wookieepedia – The Star Wars Wiki
    Hidden quotes from SW movies and books
     
  18. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
  19. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha, @earlybird-obi-wan, @Kahara, @Nehru_Amidala, @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 and @Darth_Furio, here we go. The last chapters of Luc are due. Let us begin with:


    Act 3/ Prologue:

    Leia Skywalker Organa Solo dies about thirty-five years later. On a jungle moon called Ajan Kloos. As a last act of love she dies for her only child, Ben Solo. The ultimate sacrifice in a life that was dedicated to the service of others.

    In Naboo belief, death merely marks the transition point from one bodily form to the next. Therefore it should not be feared, since it is not the ultimate cessation of life. Rather, it marks the commencement of one’s next existence. This is where I usually come in. I act as an appointed guide into the Netherworld of the Force.

    But in this case I am asked to stand down and not to interfere with the will of the Force. And so Leia’s soul remains in complete limbo.

    While I stand in front of the empty shell that had been once the galaxy’s most beloved princess, I am devastated.

    “Tell me, Qui Gon, could it be that you took over?” I addressed the Force ghost next to me.

    “Whatever gave you that impression, Luçien?” he replies, soft mockery colouring his voice.

    “The Skywalker and the Palpatine line are mine,” I point out. “But since the soul of that daughter of yours went astray, the rules are bend.”

    Of course, the smile of the old rascal widens. “You cannot possibly blame Nagina for the bad choices of her uncle. She is pure and innocent.”

    I roll my eyes at him, because the connection between innocence and a Palpatine does not exist. It never will. Even Ray, the latest champion for the light side of the Force, has her own agenda.

    “Anything you wish to say on this particular matter?” Qui-Gon asks, still playing polite.

    “Don’t temp me!” I grumble.

    He leaves me, laughing softly.

    I step closer towards the body, clad in shrouds. “Where ever you are right now, Leia, I hope your boy was worth it.”

    Sometimes the judgement of a parent can be so utterly wrong. I have my own bitter experiences in that field.
     
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  20. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Poignant prologue =D= Qui Gon is his usual warmly amused self.
     
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  21. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    I hope he can guide her
     
  22. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Hi, everyone! DarthUncle & I are not much online these days and when we finally are, we do not end up at the boards really. [face_whistling]

    Please expect me back in June! [:D]
     
    Nehru_Amidala likes this.