Who: Nala, Rori, Jynth, Inaskashath
Where: Cothold, Honshu Territory
What: Nala and Rori get married.
The day of Nala and Rori’s wedding is beautiful – as if nature has acknowledged they deserve the best it has to offer for their special day. Rori has spent days preparing for the tiny ceremony, organizing the arrangements of flowers and decorations. A small arbor has been constructed outside of their cothold, laced with ribbons and flowers, with a small arrangement of seats on either side of a tiny aisle. Those in attendance are the blue and goldriders’ closest friends, leaving the ceremony intimate and small. The young Harper who waits at the end of the aisle to conduct the ceremony has a pleasant smile on his face as he nods his head towards the violinist also in attendance. The music begins, signaling those in attendance to rise to honor the beginning of the ceremony.
That a dress could cause Nala such distraction is something that no-one who has only known her since her days as a rider could possibly have predicted, but while Rori has focused on the wider picture, the bluerider has fussed and quietly panicked over the garment that will be the sole gown that she’s been seen in since her teenage years, to the extent that she almost gives up on the whole thing and opts for a smart jacket and trousers instead. And yet the dress, a fitted thing in powder blue with gauzy skirts and white stitching, is what someone gets her into, tying ribbons onto Cinder’s collar to match, and she waits beside the Harper for Rori, her hands clasped behind her back and her focus not permitted to land for too long on any one person.
For a woman who is often found in dresses and skirts, some might be surprised at how simple Rori’s wedding gown is as she begins to walk down the aisle with a small bouquet of blue flowers held in front of her. The dress is of a rich fabric, white with hues of pink and silver sparkling with movement. The close fit of the dress leaves nothing to the imagination when it comes to the curves of her figure as the gown fits neatly along her body. The corset top has done much to give her chest a push up and the delicate beading gives the top a nice touch. Rori’s smile is bright as she walks towards Nala, tears threatening her but hidden behind a small veil she’s pulled over her face. With her hair braided and looped into an intricate up do, the veil is easily set in place. The Harper waits until Rori is standing in front of Nala before he tells their audience, “Please, sit.” Rori hands her flowers to an attendant who comes forward to collect it from her. Standing alone save for the Harper between them, Rori reaches for Nala’s hands to hold firmly in hers.
Nala lets Rori capture her hands and holds on just a little too tightly for a while in an attempt to hide they shake, something that earns her a tiny and understanding smile from the Harper, though she barely affords them a glance. “You look beautiful,” she murmurs to Rori, quietly enough that her words won’t carry even as far as those in attendance. The Harper gives her that moment, then looks between them and briefly down to the open book that bears the words of the ceremony they’ve chosen before beginning the words that will legally bind them as a couple in the eyes of the rest of the world. When it’s Nala’s turn to speak, she does so with a steady voice, though she is not entirely able to conceal just how nervous the matter of speaking of her feelings in-front of anyone but Rori makes her, her hold tightening again as she focuses solely on her.
Rori’s eyes are shining with restrained tears as she listens to all that Nala has prepared to say. The Harper turns to Rori and requests her vows and Rori gives a nod of understanding before she takes a small step closer to Nala. “Nala, before you entered my life, I was unsure of who I would – or could become. Your strength has become my strength. Your love has given me more joy than I ever thought was possible. Today I vow, to those who are here, and larger to the world – that you are my wife. My chosen. It is with you by my side that I will lead my life, knowing that I have you always. Thank you for loving me.” She beams at Nala, letting her tears slip free as she waits for the Harper to give them the binding words. “Do you both take each other?” he prompts, to which Rori squeezes Nala’s hands and announces, “Yes, I take Nala.”
For the briefest of moments, Nala shoots the Harper a look that suggests that his enquiry, a formal part of the process though it may be, is a most unnecessary one, unable to curb her desire to take back some control while feeling at the proverbial mercy of so many others. It’s into this silence that Jynth declares, << I take Inaskashath, >> in a drawling purr for all to hear, bringing a deeper blush to his rider’s features. “Yes, I take Rori,” she tells the Harper, now doing her best to ignore both her lifemate and said Harper. “I love her best of all.”
Inaskashath takes to the skies at Jynth’s proclamation, her golden body trailing above the ceremony so her shadow darkens it for the barest of moments before she spirals upwards. Her broadcast of joy and love is drawn around her and freely given to those in attendance, her need and want for Jynth so utterly pure, and full of love, she can’t help but draw those in attendance to feel the same as her to those she loves. << I have always and will always chose Jynth >> she lets all hear as she waits for her blue mate to meet her in the skies for a dance. Rori is a step to Nala and then her arms are encircling the bluerider, drawing her close to her for a fierce kiss she is unafraid to display to those in attendance. The Harper’s laughter is not unkind as he declares, “And now, please, kiss your bride.” Rori does not immediately untangle herself from her kiss to Nala, wanting to hold tight to the promises between them and their dragons. The laughter and cheers that echo around them do nothing but further fuel Rori’s clinging to Nala.
Jynth lopes a good distance away from the cothold before he spreads his broad wings wide and launches into the skies to follow Inaskashath, gaining height until he can glide in lazy loops around her, the softer tones of his hide a contrast to the more brilliant gleam of her own. It may well be that Nala is fully at Rori’s mercy, for her blush remains as deep as it was and she cannot seem to do anything but return her embrace, both as she refuses to let her go and because to do so would be to acknowledge that there are more people there than just the two of them. She has her arms tight around Rori’s middle by the time that she remembers that breathing is a sometimes necessary thing, and still she keeps her focus on her, choosing to nose along her jaw than face their guests. “I do not suppose that there is any chance that I can just hide you away with me now?” she murmurs, her voice not untouched by humour. Understanding that he is unlikely to get any sense from her or Rori in the immediate future, the Harper steps back and away, his work all but done.
“Take this time to celebrate with me in front of our friends and allies,” Rori coaxes Nala as she presses her forehead against the bluerider’s. “We will not linger with them long.” She steals one more kiss from Nala before she grabs and holds on tight to the bluerider, to hold her from running or to anchor her to her side in support as she turns to face the crowd with a beaming smile. The Harper announces them married and the cheers that erupt are not defeating but they are meant for them alone. Rori does her best to navigate the well wishers who come to greet and gift her and Nala throughout the night. Dinner is a blur of more or less the same and when the Harper strikes up the song to honor their first dance Rori hopefully has slipped enough bubbling wine Nala’s way to soothe what nerves may still linger. She dances with Nala, her head tucked against her shoulder, eyes closed in pure contentment. When the song moves on to more modern tunes that inspire the rest of their guests to dance, Rori takes Nala’s hand and slips away from their cottage. She takes a path she is confident walking along in the dark, a giggle on her lips as the bubbly wine she has taken part in all evening has driven her to giggles. “I know it isn’t proper to slip away without saying goodbye…,” she turns to tug Nala along with a broad grin. “Now it’s time for your surprise.”
A glass or two is enough to keep Nala’s nerves from maintaining any hold on her, and though it cannot be said that her attention ever strays too far from Rori in the hours that follow, that she was raised as a Blooded lady is evident enough now that the occasion gives her reason to air her manners and not, as she has tried so hard to in the past few years, blend in with the wider background. Having left Cinder in the care of one of her wingmates, she lets Rori draw her outside and away, holding her hand a little more tightly the more she giggles, as though to keep her from tripping up no matter how confident her steps. She doesn’t exactly resist, but she does tug back a touch at her wife’s words, demanding, “Where are we going?” and, “What have you done?” in hushed whispers, only to suddenly strengthen her hold and quite literally dig her heels in to draw Rori abruptly to her through sheer momentum. She twines her arms around the goldrider’s waist and tangles a hand into her hair to tip her head back so that she can nip her way along her neck. “What have you done?” she asks again, just as she finds a spot she decides to truly mark.
Rori does trip once and is thankful for Nala’s grasp on her hand to steady her. She’s taken them some distance into the wooded area outside of their cottage home, the scent of pine and mossy earth heavy in the air as she turns and finds herself tugged into Nala’s embrace. She wraps her arms around her wife to steady herself and lets her be drawn towards distraction. “I can show you,” she tells her with another small laugh, “if you let me go.” She gasps at the mark and draws herself closer to Nala, arching into her and then she pulls back. “You have to wait,” she declares and moves to grab Nala’s hand again. They’re far enough away from the cottage now and quite possibly lost in the woods when Rori finally stops walking. She lifts the light she’s brought to guide them and a tiny cabin comes into view. It’s rustic in the wood that was used to build it and it looks no smaller than a tiny bedroom. The two windows that grace each side of the door are made with stained glass and the tiny chimney on top of the roof suggests there is at least a hearth to warm them. “It’s our getaway from our getaway home,” she declares and beams at Nala. “I found it one day when I was walking and I thought… we could spend our wedding night here. Where no one may find us and bother us,” her thoughts are less likely on safety and more on having Nala all to herself as she moves to snuggle against her wife. “If you want to return to the party, we can.
Nala follows along relatively obediently, though she doesn’t let go of Rori’s hand as they move deeper into the wood, every now and then straying close enough that she might seem set on distracting her again. When the light brings the cabin into view, she simply hauls her back against her and wraps her arms around her middle once more, propping her head on her shoulder to peer out at the building, her embrace loosening only when Rori makes to snuggle against her, allowing her to turn to do so. “I have very little interest in the party,” is not exactly a shocking confession, accompanied by the press of her lips to her wife’s jaw. “I would much rather be here with you and know that no-one is going to seek to interrupt or hassle us for any reason.”
“Then it’s settled,” Rori tells Nala primly as she draws back and captures Nala’s hand to tug her towards the cabin. “They’ll have the rest of the evening to themselves and knowing that we slipped away will find their way home eventually.” She opens the cabin’s door and draws Nala inside, closing the door firmly behind them and then turning the lock. She moves towards the hearth and kneels down, in her wedding finery and all, to begin the fire. She’s satisfied once the cabin is flickering in the fire’s warmth. Rising, her dress covered in dirt from the floor, she moves towards Nala. “And now, my wife,” she says, turning a little shy as she draws her towards the bed in the little cabin. “It’s time for us to think of nothing but each other.” She draws herself closer to Nala and leans into her, letting her lips press gently, then more earnestly against Nala’s. Her hands move along the rich fabric of her wife’s dress and then she eases Nala back on the bed.