Heavenly bells rung on top of the tower, their rumbling sounds evoking my heart with blissful feelings. In front of me, two pearl white eyes glimmered with the same excitement I experienced. I could feel the enormous swarm of butterflies tickling my insides, lifting my happiness to the sky. His hands were warm, they held mine tight, as if he was afraid to loose me. I felt reluctant to let them go too.
All my life I dreamed about my own family, that one day some unknown force would change my life for better and would grant me this wish. It has happened and I can't describe the happiness I feel.
Next to us, reflecting glimmers of sun, sit two rings on a snow white pillow, waiting to be picked up and close a bond that will last a lifetime.
"Do you take Thea as your lawful wife, to have and hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and cherish until death do you part?"
The priest's voice echoed through the light-filled church walls, making my heart feel the ambient sound. It sent pleasant shivers over my skin.
"Yes, I do!" Edmund said calmly, his lips parted in a subtle smile.
"Do you take Edmund as your lawful husband, to have and hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and cherish until death do you part?" He repeated.
I felt a tear slip through my lashes as I struggled to say the words. I was just too happy. All of this felt like a dream.
Edmund gently squeezed my hand. I looked up and saw a small concern in his eyes.
"I do..." I said finally.
After priest's holy words, Edmund gently put a ring on my finger, while he hold my trembling hand.
"Thea, receive this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. "
Edmund smoothly slid a fine carved ring on my finger. It glimmered and sparkled in a sunlight filled structure.
I felt very nervous. In some way I felt glad, that only our closest people are here today. I took all the courage that was inside me and did my part.
"Edmund, receive this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
I put a ring on his finger, all the while more tears were breaking through. I tried to keep them in.
"Thea, don't cry."Edmund whispered.
"Therefore I proclaim you a husband and wife. You may kiss the bride." Priest's voice boomed over. "What God joins together, let no one put asunder".
Edmund leaned closer and our lips touched. I had to keep my heart calm, otherwise it would jump out. Every time I kissed him, it felt like a first time for me, all emotions were so strong I struggled to keep myself calm at such situations. He surely felt it and took me in his embrace and his hold on my waist tightened as well as his kiss got stronger, but..... at the same time being gentle. I almost melted in his hands.
He stopped and smiled sweetly.
"Thea.... You have made me into a happiest man ever." He said quietly and gave me a feather light peck on my lips.
"Oh my god! You both look so pretty!" I heard Fiona's whining in a back. "James, why didn't you provide me with such extravagant wedding?"
Fiona slapped him with her handkerchief, getting no particular reaction out of him, just his characteristically quiet white, loving smile.
We continued to gaze at each other in silence, savoring the reality of our new life, our future as a family.
I woke up the next morning in my bed alone.
Time and time again I repeat this wonderful memory in my mind. A grin spread over my face, remembering his sweet whispers and kisses, that trailed over me through the night. Edmund's strong hold on me made me feel safe, being in his embrace, against his strong toned chest gave me a sense of protection. I received love, that would come from a man, my husband - something that I anticipated and which made me nervous, slightly afraid, but he showed me, that nothing is to be worried about. He was gentle and I felt him take great care of my body, that at that moment belonged to him.
I was no longer a slave, who had no right to have anything. Now we stand equally by each other as a married couple.
My palm goes over the spot where Edmund slept. It holds no warmth of him, he have left a bed quite some time ago. I hoped to open my eyes and see him laying next to me, still asleep, while I would gently stroke his silky strands of hair and watch his calm face with those dark and long eyelashes.
Is something worrying him again? Few months have gone by without any incident or anything to trouble his mind. That's what I assume, but deep down I know it is not the case. Leaving Maria behind and marrying me hasn't relieved Edmund from his main problem - becoming a king. I feel in my heart, that I might have added more to this ordeal.
Nothing changed his high status and he married me. No one knows who I am. People will question him for my origins and what happened with the engagement he had with Maria.
I slide out from the cowers, put a silky robe on myself and head to look for my husband. I can't help, but suppress a small giggle, that desperately wants to break free from my beating heart.
A husband.... I have a husband.... Edmund....
It sounds so strange in my mind. Few months ago I wouldn't dare to even dream about such thing and now, here I am.
I see Edmund sitting in a chair in the living room, basking in the morning sun rays on a balcony, that overlooks the inner garden.
I see him in deep thought, his body loosely leaned over the furniture and his legs spread out. The blinding white shirt makes him look like an angel descended from the heavens.
"Good morning..." I whisper as I stand behind him, my hand is reaching for his dark strands of hair.
"Morning, Thea." Edmund plants a soft kiss on my hand. "You should still be in a bed. I.... was planning to go back. I didn't think you would wake up so early."
"It's alright. Don't feel obligated to do such insignificant things for me."
"Insignificant? I doubt it is so for you. Sorry for ruining your first morning."
Edmund pressed my palm against his cheek and then kissed it again.
"What's up with you...? You seem troubled."
"Nothing.... Nothing for you to worry about. Not yet...."
"Not yet? Is it... Is it something to do, what priest said?"
Edmund's glistening orbs reached my worried gaze.
Many days ago, when we talked with priest about the wedding, he pointed out things about our future, about Edmund's future. No matter how much he wanted to live rest of his life like a normal nobleman, it could not be achieved in his case. People for many years have waited for a king to rise, for Edmund to finally take his throne. It could not be so easily abandoned. It was his calling given him from the time he was born. The odd trait of his bloodline, the unnaturally looking eyes had shaped the future for him, without his own choice. Edmund just couldn't leave this legacy behind so simply.
"Yeah. In truth it is so... . I am more worried about you. The inevitable difficulties you will have to go through to stay by my side." Edmund hold an apologetic look. "Thea, you will be a queen. Do you understand that?"
I couldn't deny, that this single thought made me nervous. I only hoped that Edmund will hold my hand through, whatever is stored in for us.
"He also said, that we will have to hold another wedding. For the people of Hadria to publicly mark our union. It is so bothersome, but it will need to be done. Not now, though...., but at sometime in the future. Also we will move to the capital in few days time. But don't worry about anything right now. You just rest, alright?"
"Hmm." I nodded.