After watching a few more sparring matches, I was impressed by the skill that Jonathan had. He almost never lost, which made me wonder if the people he were fighting against we're just bad or if Jonathan was the best warrior in the clan. "Jonathan, you’re done for the day. We have business to attend to." Stephen called out to him, and my face got super warm. I'm meeting him now. He jogged over to us, pausing in front of his father.
"Come your first meeting should be in more private settings." He gestured us away from the crowd, leading us back to the large tents. We entered the largest, as I swallowed the lump in my throat. "Jonathan this is Clarissa. Clarissa this is Jonathan." He introduced us before he slipped out of the tent to leave us alone.
"I thought you were a princess?" Jonathan questioned rudely after starring at each other for a sold minute.
"I am one." I crossed my arms, feeling my glare sharpen.
"Then why are you dressed like that?" He challenged with a look of distaste. Did he want me to be all dolled up like in my country?
"Because the dress I wore here was gross, so your father had a girl bring me these." I snapped, offended by his impolite remark.
"Oh." He paused, rubbing his neck awkwardly. We stood in silence starring at each other. Up close I could see that he had tribal tattoos stretching up and down his arms, and I wondered if they spread across his whole muscular body. His eyes shone brightly, while his cheeks were a faint pink. His lips were plump and kissable.
Where did that thought come from?
"What is my father expecting us to do in here?" He blew out a breath after many moments of quiet.
"Mate." I said with the most serious voice I could muster.
"What?" His eyes widened, as his face turns red. "We aren't even married yet-" He stammered, obviously feeling fluster about it.
"I'm joking." I grinned faintly, feeling amused that he was so easily tricked. That made me wonder about his intelligent, which could me he was just a sword. If he was only a warrior when he took over, I could have much more power in this clan then I initially thought.
"Oh." He murmured, biting his lip.
"I don't know what we are supposed to do." I admitted, clasping my hands in front of me.
"We should sit." He gestured to a chair, as he sat down. I sat across from him, tugging on my curls bored out of my mind.
We stared at each other the entire time.
It was weird, and a pit was forming in my stomach when I realized this could be my whole life, sitting around starring at each other. I sighed, picking at my nails. My mind started to wonder about the mission my brother gave me because what else was I supposed to think about. Please let these people be traitors. If he's a traitor, then I get to go home! But how do I prove it? I furrowed my brow thinking about how to go about this. I began looking around the tent, realizing this was Stephen's tent. I glanced along the tables, wondering if there was incriminating evidence on it. What would I be looking for though? Something that says treason on it?
"What are you doing?" Jonathan disrupted my plotting with the sound of his voice.
"What?" My eye brows popped up, trying to think of a plausible lie. I hadn’t really done anything wrong, so there was nothing really to lie about.
"You were looking at the desk." He pointed at the paper, accusing me of doing something.
"I was bored. I wanted to read something." I shrugged my shoulders, hoping he bought it.
"Do you like reading?" He asked, trying to make conversation.
"Sometimes. I prefer painting." I told him, hoping to keep this going.
"I love reading." He leaned forward, beginning to engage in an actual conversation, but then Stephen came back in.
"Time for the celebrations." Stephen smiled at us, thinking that we had a vigorous conversation.
"Sounds delightful." I gritted a smile, getting to my feet. I couldn’t even image what they’re celebrations were like.
When we got outside, everyone was gathered around a large camp fire. Loud drums were being beaten, as people dance around the flames. I wrinkled my nose, feeling my stomach churn. I sat in between Jonathan and Stephen, watching everyone move rhythmically around each other.
It looked so freeing. I closed my eyes, letting the music thud into my chest. I let go of all my worries abandoning myself to the pounding of the drums, as I swayed side to side slightly. I focused on the steady beat of my heart, remembering that I was a being on this earth. I was a living being.
"You ok?" Stephen asked me. My eyes fluttered back open, and I looked up at him. My short spell was broken, as I gazed into the older man’s eyes.
"Yeah, it's very overwhelming." I exhaled, running my fingers over my exposed stomach. This is all extremely new, which is scary.
"Do you want to try dancing?" He grinned, noticing how I was swaying to the secure beat of the music.
"No, I'm ok." I blushed. Even thinking about dancing in such a way made me uncomfortable.
"Wine?" Jonathan held the pitcher out stiffly.
"Yes, please." I nodded slightly, taking a deep breath. He poured it into the glass in front of me, and I began sipping it. By the Angel I couldn't accept my fate this evening while I was sober. My mind kept drifting to strange thoughts about nature, and treason, and my new life. I set the glass down, inhaling a deep breath.
"Did you just chug the whole goblet of wine?" Jonathan exclaimed, lifting up to look.
"Apparently I did." My words slurred together, as my brain began feeling fuzzy. That was just what I needed. A way to make my thoughts focus into one place, and the wine did that. He snorted, refilling it again. This one I sipped slowly, keeping my eyes locked onto the flames. There is something so wild and free about fire. It moves as it pleases, whipping around the air, climbing higher to lick the air. The drums made me feel even more absorbed into my mind, and I realized that I could truly be at peace here. Within all the chaos, I felt at ease for probably the first time in my life.
I flinched awake when someone shook me lightly. I immediately groaned, feeling the lingering effects of copious amounts of wine last night. I buried my face into the cushions, wanting to go back to sleep.
"Clarissa." I heard Stephen chuckle above me. "Your wedding is today. Wouldn't want to show up like you just rolled out of bed?" He teased, sitting on the edge of the bed.
"Can we like postpone it?" I wrinkled my nose, rolling onto my back. The sun stung my eyes,
"No, you have already slept through most of the day. I knew I should have cut you off sooner, but you seemed so much more relaxed." He stood back up, snapping at some ladies to come in. "I'll have our healing bring in our miracle hangover cure."
"Thanks." I stretched my limbs out, groaning quietly. Stephen stepped out of the tent, as two older women came in.
"Come on, milady; let's get you ready for future husband." The two women ushered me out of bed, stripping me out of my garments. I moaned in annoyance, as they readied me. A golden garment was strung over my breast, while a knee length skirt was slipped up my legs. I almost tripped over myself, as the women yanked the clothes on.
“Hello, biscuit, I was told you need my magical hangover cure.” A man glided into my room with a cup. He grabbed my hand, placing the cup in it.
“Thank you.” I grumbled, looking into the glass. I grimaced when I saw thick looking slim.
“It taste like crap, but you won’t be hung over for your lovely wedding. Drink now.” He pointed at the glass. I pinched my nose, chugging the disgusting liquid down my throat. I choked back vomit, as I set the cup down. “I’m Magnus by the way. The clans best healer.” He informed me with a cat like grin.
“Well thank you for the cure.” I smiled, liking the man in front of me.
“You are quite a lovely girl. How old are you?” He questioned, looking me over.
“I’m 17. I know I look younger than I am.” I sighed, seeing the two women who were preparing me. They seemed to be annoyed that Magnus was disrupting they’re preparations. The women brought the paint over to me, smearing it along my cheeks and arms. The patterns they were creating were extremely elaborate, which fascinated me. I felt a little odd about what I was wearing, but I was so curious about the designs I didn't care. One of the women stroked my hair with a brush, while the other rubbed my feet. I hummed, feeling soothed by the pampering. I'm glad these women didn't talk like the other girl. I would need to find a handmaiden that didn't drive me crazy. I need one that speaks to me like an equal; a woman I can trust. I guess I will have to speak to Stephen about it.
"There you go dear." The women finished. "Jonathan won't know what to do with himself." They mused at me.
"I don't know about that." I smiled kindly, glancing into the small mirror one of them was holding. The women around here were very voluptuous compared to me. My curves were almost non-existent, and these women walk around with they’re big breast flashing around, which is something I would never do.
"You are by far the fairest woman in this clan. He will be in awe." They assured me. "Please come with us." They gestured me out the door. I followed a step behind them, plastering a fake smile across my face. The people's eyes were on me, and I wasn't about to give them impression that I didn't want to be here. I didn't want to be marrying their prince, or whatever he's called. I didn't want to be tied to a man I hardly knew. I paused at the end of a walk way, seeing Jonathan at the end of it. He was in a dark leather uniform with gold stitched into it. His features looked even sharper in contract to the black outfit he was wearing.
He was a beautiful man.
Even though I was probably going to be forced to breed with him, at least he was pretty to look at. I wasn't quite sure what I was supposed to do. I started walking towards him, hoping that this was the next step. Their weddings might not be like ours. No one screamed obscenities at me, so I figured I was in the clear. I stopped in front of him, gazing up at him under my lashes.
"You look beautiful." He murmured quiet enough for only me to hear. My cheeks felt warm at his compliment, as we proceeded into the ceremony.
It wasn't the wedding I dreamed of, but it was still lovely. They did a chant for a few minutes, before two girls walked around us, circling a ribbon around us. We stood chest to chest, as Stephen's father spoke words of their ancestors. It seemed almost magical the way the scenery felt around me. Jonathan was warm. Too warm. I felt his skin radiate heat, as he stood against me. I could feel his heart beat against mine, which was making me a little stressed. He was too close for comfort. I stared up at him, keeping my eyes entranced with his. The ribbon was unwound from our bodies, and we quickly took a step back from one another.
"Jonathan Herondale and Clarissa Morgenstern you are now one." Stephen announced to the crowd, who cheered loudly. My lips quirked upwards at the clan’s excitement. Jonathan kissed my hand, leading me through the people. They were throwing flower petals over us, which was making me laugh.
The entire thing was just magical.
The evening’s activities were much like the night before. Wine, fire, dancing. I giggled, as some of the young girls scurried around our table, draping a flower necklace around my head. "They love you." Jonathan breathed in my ear, while I sipped my wine.
"They love me because they adore you." I countered, watching the festivities. He shrugged, leaning back against his hands. I felt two hands clasp my shoulders, making me look up.
"You should retire soon. I don't think you would want to prepare in front of my son." Stephen suggested, moving to sit next to his son. I stood up, brushing the dirt off of my skirt.
I rested my hand on Jonathan's shoulder lightly, before I strode over to our tent.