Chapter 8: Wonderful Wedding
"Come with me Alyria"
Alyria gazed up from the dusted ground outside her hut, holding a hand over her eyes to shield them from the suns painful rays.
Alyria shrieked, it was him- Nelarosan.
Slightly tall with blackish auburn brown hair that stuck up here and there and brilliant aqua blue eyes that sparkled only for her greeted Alyria.
"But this isn't possible!"
Alyria shook her head; this had to be a dream it just had to be.
"Don't worry- I've given up on necromancy for you"
He smiled warmly to one side as he examined her.
"Really that's great! I-"
Alyria paused this still didn't make sense.
Why weren't the guards after him?
They had been chasing him for over two years now, in fact she couldn't see any guards what so ever- just her and him.
"Where are the guards?"
Alyria cocked an eyebrow.
Ha! Let her imagination combat that!
Wait, was she really fighting her own dreams?
"Can't you just accept paradise Alyria?"
Her dream Nelarosan looked exhausted and frustrated.
Alyria however never got to finish her answer as she was suddenly awoken by her elder sister Atheniny.
"Wake up sister"
Atheniny whined, hands on hips grinning as though she had earned two hundred silvers at the brothel.
Atheniny could not wait until she was to be sold to a man permanently, instead of just for a tumble. Alyria couldn't wait until Atheniny finally fell pregnant while 'on the job' and found that no man wanted her with child.
She however never said it to her elder sister's face, she thought it to her face but that was about it. Atheniny might not be strong, but insult her 'work' and you'll get bitten and scratched before you even blink.
Then there were the men, sure she wasn't abused as much as she had been while living in the tower- just a couple wolf whistles here and there.
But what really troubled and confused was that strange blonde man with the allergy towards women.
He had revealed to her that his name was Amin and then stammered something turned bright crimson and ran off.
Sometimes while Alyria was doing her shift at the inn she would turn around and see him watching her not perverted like most other men- no his expression was much more dazed than that.
When he realised that she knew he was staring at her he would instantly blush and pretend to be looking at his sword, usually knocking something over somehow in the process.
He also always had that goof look on his face, which puzzled her as well- why did she like it so much?
No, she didn't like him- never.
And that was Stonehaven, much better than the tower.
"Guess what day it is?"
Atheniny sang, beaming as though they were moving into a mansion.
"Annoy your younger sister at dawn day?"
Alyria grumbled in reply, rolling over to face her still beaming sister.
"Close enough, no it's my birthday and I finally become of age!"
Alyria rubbed her eyes, still weary.
Right of course, Atheniny's birthday.
Shit, she had forgotten to get her anything.
"Father has found me a betrothed too at long last for a gift!"
She continued to ramble on, as though Alyria was even listening to her and not trying to get back to sleep.
Huh? Married, betrothed?!
Alyria was definitely awake now.
She stared up at her sister in shock.
She looked just like her father, mousy brown hair and silver diamond metallic eyes that shined when she was cheerful.
And right now they were so bright Alyria almost felt she was being blinded as she gazed at them. Also Atheniny always does what she's told, this made Alyria sick.
"But that's not all!"
Atheniny again beamed, her eyes glittering even more as though Alyria wasn't becoming blinded and trying to hold back vomit.
"It's a double wedding; my betrothed Zachan has a younger brother Thomas!"
Atheniny exclaimed as if this was the greatest thing in the entire world.
"You're going to make a beautiful bride!"
She smiled, losing herself in another fairy tale fantasy once more.
That's it Alyria was definitely going to be sick now.
Not Thomas, not the idiot noble bastard!
Jaw clenched Alyria replied in a fury.
"Don't hold your breath; you can't make me marry that dumbass not in a million years!"
She growled through gritted teeth, jumping out from her bed furious.
"I can hear the wedding bells already!"
Atheniny squealed in a voice so high pitched Alyria had to cover her ears.
"Didn't you just hear me?!"
Alyria shook her head in disbelief, how stupid was her sister!?
"This is the best birthday ever!"
Atheniny squealed again, ignoring Alyria completely.
Alyria groaned in disgust, shaking her head.
This was gonna be a long day...
Alyria raced out of her room, leaving Atheniny to be lost in some distant fantasy of her own.
"Good morning" Orlin replied, trying not to grin.
She was almost too much like her mother.
"Can we talk about this arrangement you made- without my permission?!"
Alyria tried her hardest to remain calm and tranquil over the matter, but her natural instincts and anger seethed over the top.
"I am guessing you are not pleased?"
Alyria narrowed her eyebrows, he already knew the answer.
"How could you- sell me to him?!"
Orlin rose from his seat, a rather serious expression on his face.
This expression only ever came upon Alyria's fathers face when money was concerned.
"How could I not, he is the dukes son and with the duke deathly ill next in line to rule alongside his brother besides he requested you personally- our family name is now going to mean something!"
Alyria loathed her father, especially now.
"What about what I want! Can't I choose who I marry?!"
Alyria snapped fuming; the only man she had ever cared for was Nelarosan.
Besides she hated Thomas, rich arrogant bastard.
"Well, who else would you marry? The man who runs the gates? He is quite rich..."
Orlin liked that idea, two different noble human families was better than one after all...
Alyria again felt sick at the very notion.
"How about I don't marry anyone? Atheniny's the only one here who wants to get bloody married!" She hated the very idea of weddings, having to wear a dumb frilly dress throwing a bundle of flowers into a group of desperate thirty year old women and bridesmaids.
"What and remain a child forever? No you are to marry Thomas end of story"
Orlin put his foot down on this one, Alyria could beat the hells out of him and scream as much as she wanted, she was to be married either way.
There was simply too much money at risk here.
"Or Amin he's in love with you!"
Atheniny teased nudging her younger sister.
"The way he looks at you must make you heart melt"
Atheniny sighed in a slightly envious way, returning to her little fantasy.
"More like make me nauseous"
Alyria mumbled under her breath.
"You will not ruin this day for me!"
Atheniny snapped out of her daydream.
Her tone changed from sweet to chaotic glaring at Alyria she seemed like she had just escaped from a mental asylum.
"Everything must be perfect!"
Atheniny changed her attention to Orlin.
"It will be perfect wont it daddy?"
Her tone changing from completely evil to pathetic in three seconds flat; a special talent of hers.
She also had the most pathetic puppy face in all of Lithia.
Alyria knew she was screwed.
"Of course it will be pumpkin Alyria; no mentioning your martial training got it?"
Orlin was of course taking Atheniny's side over hers- just a little hobby of his
. Oh how Alyria wanted her mother to be there, she actually cared about her opinion.
"I take it you didn't tell him that I know where the pointy side of a sword is?"
Great so on top of having to marry a complete idiot, she would also have to act like a household wench.
The tower was starting to sound pretty nice around about now...
"Well he's going to find out one of these days"
Alyria retorted, probably he'd find out when he sees a sharp dagger in his back with her laughing behind him.
That was a nice thought.
Orlin and Atheniny however took no notice to Alyria's retort and simply began to talk about the wedding plans.
Alyria sighed heavily, there was no trying to convince them- they were insane after all.
Still she was not going to be married.
Not even over her dead body.
Atheniny grinned up at Orlin, looking like a perfect angel.
Alyria moaned loudly in anger fuming; deciding to take a walk outside the dwelling to clear her head. Stupid weddings.
Once again guarding the gates that barred off the innocent Nymphs who could not afford a real home, Amin felt bored.
'Bored bored' Amin thought the word bored over and over in his mind, as though if he did it enough times he would immediately stop being so bored during his shift.
Ok now he knew he had to think of something else- lest die of boredom.
Like pie, pie was always an interesting topic to contemplate mmm... pie.... Or Alyria- no, no, bad idea very bad idea.
Celestials he was pathetic, even the very mention of her made his ears blush.
Not to mention his cheeks, then his hands would sweat up.
And he would get nosebleeds from time to time.
"I'm such a loser"
He groaned whispering to himself thwacking his head against the gate in resentment of himself.
"Wow genius just figure that out did we?"
The mocking sarcastic voice of Callun rang through Amin's ears.
Grinning his perfectly straight pearly white teeth that made every single woman or anything remotely female go crazy after, Callun swept back his luscious ash brown with slight golden blonde tints.
In fact the only girl who wasn't head over heels for him in the village was Alyria...
Oh terrific a nosebleed.
Amin grabbed out a silk white handkerchief to wipe away the blood.
"Say, isn't that the napkin that platinum waitress gave you?"
Callun smirked, of course referring to Alyria as her hair colour and not her actual name instead.
Amin hated Callun; he was nothing but a big meanie.
But he was right; Alyria had given it to him.
Examining the finely stitched handkerchief, Amin could still remember that humiliating day.
Amin had been waiting outside the inn where Alyria had worked, in an attempt to strike a conversation with her.
Light sandy blonde hair flattened, Amin groaned when it simply sprang straight up becoming wavy again.
Alyria had finished her shift and with Frostbite in arms was heading home.
So Amin rather in between over enthusiastic or so frightened that he was going to drop dead right there right then, decided to take a chance and quickly rushed towards her trying to catch her attention.
He had waved; She then turned around looking slightly confused but showed that she was familiar with who he was.
Incredibly nervous, He didn't notice the oak branch that oddly enough had not been there before, Of course this had to result in Amin being thwacked in the face by the thick branch and stumbling backwards, falling on his backside in pain.
Now most women Amin knew would have simply rolled their eyes mouthing the words 'wow what a loser' as they turned primly and strolled off leaving Amin lying there in agony and humiliation.
Alyria however dropped the now incredibly infuriated kitten in her arms and rushed to his side, strangely enough a look of concern on her face.
Leaning over Alyria cocked an eyebrow.
"Err... you alright?"
Amin felt his jaw drop; there she was basically on top of him, her perfect diamond eyes in line with his.
He then noticed that she had a rather repulsed look on her face now why would that be?
Maybe she had realised how idiotic and ugly he was?
No wait what was that tricking down his face?
It was blood, he was having a nosebleed.
Instead of saying something like 'ew you're disgusting' or 'stay away from me freak' she got out a handkerchief made of silk and handed it to him, a smile showing her dimples as she said; "You can keep it by the way".
As she wiped the blood from his nose dabbing softly, Amin suddenly felt numb and stiff all over.
In fact one certain part of him was feeling insanely stiff.
No it couldn't be could it?!
Of course it had to be.
Luckily she didn't notice as she got up of the ground, still smiling that beautiful dimpled smile.
Placing a hand out for him to grab, Amin had been quite shocked as she had basically dragged him off the grass beneath him.
Celestials for a woman that short, she was without doubt strong.
Alyria had laughed as she had seen the look of surprise and awe that had made its way upon Amin's face.
She then had to apologise to a rather angry looking snow white cat, picked her up again and made her way home.
Amin scratched his head in puzzlement, as the distinctive oak branch that had just hit him resulting in a nose bleed, mortification and something that should never be mentioned ever was nowhere to be seen.
Then he heard the only too familiar laughing of his elder brother, Callun.
Jumping down from the massive tree, Amin now saw that he was holding a memorable oak branch, a smirk on his face.
"You did this?!"
Amin would have throttled his elder brother, if her were not taller and stronger than him.
Not to mention more confident.
Callun simply waved away Amin's screaming protest with a hand.
"Well, well my little brother in luurve and I see that this branch isn't the only thing that's sticking out"
He grinned pointing downwards at Amin's pants.
Eyes wide with shock Amin had quickly placed his hands over his crotch in embarrassment, his face so crimson red he thought it was going to explode from blushing so much.
"I hate you so much!"
Amin shouted, not so much in anger but more in irritation with a hint of whining in the mix.
"You are so pathetic Blondie!"
Callun taunted, roughly messing up Amin's blonde hair, not that it needed to be any scruffier.
Amin hated that pet name; Callun always used it to make fun of his stupid blonde hair.
Callun had been right; in fact he was right now Amin thought sighing in front of the gate.
If only he wasn't such a loser.
In fact the very first time he had ever spoken to her apart from the handkerchief incident he had asked if she was female to ask if she wanted to take a midnight stroll amidst the lake to start up the conversation.
He was a pathetic loser, but what made it so much worse?
Callun was the smoothest talker Amin knew, wooing ladies here and there and him a virgin, a pathetic eighteen year old virgin.
And Alyria was so pretty...
"Out of my way!"
Alyria shoved past a smirking Callun, examining the gate mechanism.
Oh damn, he was already blushing.
"Hey what do you think you're doing?"
Callun regained his balance, annoyed from Alyria's forceful push.
"Getting out of here!"
Alyria seemed panicked, why was she leaving her family behind?
Amin piped up, stuttering damn stutter it got worse when she was around.
"Oh just getting forced to marry the dukes son Thomas Roland; noble bastard- now move it!"
Alyria shouted impatiently, becoming bored.
Frostbite hissed at Amin as if to say; Open it already!
What, married?! No!
Amin stared blankly at Alyria.
"You do realise you can't just leave right- it is the number one rule and all"
Callun jested, he was right of course, you had to pay at least five Aurums and Alyria didn't have that kind of cash, which was quite evident by the way she dressed, a dirty old blue tunic with brown dusted faded old leggings and travel worn boots with scratch marks from Frostbite, who at this very moment was now playing with Alyria's loosely tied laces pulling at them with sharp little teeth rolling on the ground getting her white fur dirty from the mud underneath her.
"Get out of my way now before I bash your head in!"
Alyria snapped, she could take them- sure she might have to use some magic and that would prove the rumours against her and then she would have to be on the run as a wanted criminal. But hey, that was way better than marrying Thomas Roland.
Callun laughed, she was tough!
"Surely it dosen't escape your notice that I am fully armed?"
Pointing to the recently sharpened broad sword in his sheath, he decided to draw it out.
Just to frighten her a little.
"Ok this is getting out of hand"
Amin stepped in before Alyria got hurt.
Geez, why did Callun have to be such a jerk all the time?
"Bring it on!"
Alyria retorted fiercely, Frostbite backing her up with what would have been a frightening growl, but since she was only a small kitten and adorable came out as a not so scary hiss.
Alyria grinned; this was going to be too easy- and fun.
All she had to do was simply flick a wrist and Callun's sword flung out of his iron grip.
Amin felt his jaw drop in awe, ok now she was good... and really beautiful.
Gah, he could feel his cheeks redden.
"Why don't you face me like a real man- unless you're too scared?"
Alyria taunted, Frostbite making a rather 'ha in your face' meow towards a rather stunned Callun. But before Alyria could truly beat the crap out of Callun, an expertly made carriage arrived at the gates.
"Open the gates men"
A Nymph was of course on top of carriage, acting as a slave to the duke's sons manoeuvring the large expensive wagon the horse palomino white, its well scrubbed and clipped hooves casted with only the finest silver horse shoes Aurum could buy.
The poor slave that was riding on top the brilliantly crafted leather saddle however was wearing dirty rags, which looked as if they were fashioned from that of a burlap sack for potatoes, he also looked under nourished, that made Alyria's blood boil.
Amin nodded, pulling the brass lever allowing the gates to release.
Callun grasped his sword off the ground, wiping off the mud from it in an almost affectionate manner- while casting Alyria a nasty look.
The Nymphan slave driver, kicked the horse in the side slightly, it responded trotting past the gates and into the village. Most villagers bowed and payed their respects, while others spat on the ground before them cursing in anger and disgust- as the Duke's sons were now getting out of there carriage.
Zachan the eldest was quite tall and lean reddish blonde hair that did not seem to match his haughty features was casted aside behind his ears.
He wore formal clothes, his wedding attire apparently.
His tunic was made of coarse cloth and jet black, an iron studded belt at his waist that held a ceremonial blade runes hidden behind its leather sheath.
Atheniny must had heard her 'wonderful' husband arrive, as she ran out of the hut wearing a long cream white wedding dress with frills and bows so many Alyria could barely keep up.
She also held a brand new silver wrapped box with an aqua felt bow delicately tied onto it. Standing next to Zachan beaming up to him, handing Alyria wordlessly the expensive looking box. Alyria confused held the box in one hand.
It wasn't her birthday, what was this for?
"Ah that must be the present I got you"
And out of the carriage he came. Thomas Roland.
He had gotten much taller since she had seen him last, although he was still a great deal shorter than Callun and Amin.
Also stubble had made its first appearance, as it seemed he had finally needed to shave.
Wearing the same belt and sword as his brother, his tunic was Irish green.
"Aw really from you?"
Alyria grinned sarcastically, throwing the box on the ground crushing it with a boot, twisting the wreckage with a heel.
"Well that's gratitude for you"
Amin blurted out accidently.
Alyria begun to stare at Amin, and he thought for certain that he saw her lip twitch slightly to the side.
She was fighting the urge to smile.
"What did you say guard?"
Thomas snapped, how dare he speak in such a manner towards him or his bride?!
"Nothing sir, perhaps you should get your hearing checked"
Amin once again blurted something out that he shouldn't have, but he could not help it.
He wanted to see Alyria's perfect smile again.
Alyria stifled her laughter with a hand, she had never met someone who smart mouthed authority like she did.
"How dare you, I should have you hanged for such slander-"
Thomas was cut off from his lecture by Alyria.
"Don't you harm him you coward!"
Alyria placed her hands on her hips, standing between Thomas and Amin.
Amin's eyes widened, wow she was defending him.
No one- especially a girl had ever defended him before.
Thomas groaned he could not have his bride unhappy on his wedding day.
"Whatever you desire my bride"
His voice stiff, a biting hint at the word bride, just to rub it in her face.
Alyria gave Thomas a glance of disgust in return, oh how she loathed him, especially because he was proving her wrong.
They would be married when they came of age.
Dumbass rich bastard.
"This is going to be sooo fun!"
Atheniny exclaimed full of joy.
Alyria never wanted to strangle the life out of her sister as much as she did right at this very moment.
And Atheniny just stood there beaming up at Zachan, completely oblivious to the utter obvious facts.
Marrying him would be worse than becoming a slave, in fact this wasn't even a proper wedding- this was simply a loophole of getting around the rule of having a Nymph as a consort slave for life.
He would never actually treat her right, because of one simple thing one thing that she or Alyria could never change.
She is a Nymph.
Alyria sighed sorrowfully, as she knew that Stonehaven was no longer safe once more.
She had to get out of here, nowhere was safe at the moment.
It would probably never be absolutely safe for her or her family even her entire race.
Here was no longer an option for survival.
To survive she had to escape, alone this time.
There was nowhere to go; she was trapped in a corner like an animal.
Groaning, Alyria was dragged back into the small hut by a still half dazed Atheniny.
"Here you go!"
Atheniny's voice high pitched and incredibly perky, she held up a satin white embellished top with dazzling jewels sown on it with fine thread, along with a skirt to match that came down past her ankles so she would have to hoist it up as she walked.
"I am not wearing this"
Alyria protested, standing her ground arms folded like iron.
Atheniny woke from her fantasy, an enraged expression on her usually calm dazed face.
One thing you never want to do is wake a sleeping magic beast right?
Ok imagine that, except one thousand times worse.
Amin and Callun were assigned to escort Alyria through the town just to make sure that she didn't escape. Atheniny once again got her way; Alyria had been forced into the clothes by Orlin- literally. Both men were tall for humans, Callun being slightly taller and stronger in build.
This made Alyria feel short- very, very short.
As they made their way to the chapel, Callun would wink at some village girls here and there on the way, but Amin stayed silent staring at the ground as he walked deep in thought.
Alyria bent over so she was now facing Amin.
"What is so fascinating about the ground?"
"Well you know, there's sticks and cobble oh and look a rock!"
Amin played along sarcastically, pointing out a shiny rock on the ground.
Alyria giggled, he was quite funny and he had a smart mouth- almost as intelligent as her own. Amin's mood dimmed more and more as they came closer to the old temple of light, the ethereal symbol of the celestials embarked on the mahogany double doors.
He didn't want Alyria to be married, and from the bitter expression on her face he could tell she wasn't exactly jumping for joy at the notion either.
He should have told her how he felt, not that it would have made a difference.
What kind of woman would like a pathetic loser like him?
"Well time for us to take our leave milady"
Callun formally addressed her, after all she was about to be nobility.
What did he just call her?
Alyria felt stunned, lost for words never had a man referred to her a 'milady'.
It was always; "hey sweet thing" or "you can fill my tankard any day wench!"
Those insults, hungry stares had haunted her entire life, but now just because she was going to marry Thomas she would finally be treated with respect?!
"Don't you ever call me that again!"
Alyria snapped, storming into the temple.
"Well that was smooth"
Amin taunted, he had actually gotten him!
Unfortunately while he could spar words against Callun, fists were an entirely different area.