Because the Ocean swallows the Sun

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A rash wedding

The sun was already precariously low and Sanjeer still wasn’t back. There wasn’t much time. Finally, while the healer soaked the bandages for her arms, there was a clanking at the door. Sanjeer entered with a man and an old woman that Kerrana recognized as Lord Gular’s wife. She quickly covered her hair. The old woman was a gossip. Enough to have her in on the wedding, she didn’t want her suspecting any additional impropriety.

“Take your seats, have some tea till the bride is finished.” Sanjeer smoothly steered the two pairs of prying eyes to a corner of the room that was parted off with a paravent. He must have mastered some high-speed technique of making tea, for he was back with them before Amba had finished putting on the second of her bandages.

He grabbed her hand and looked at the scales that were coming through. “What is this?” he asked under his breath. Kerrana tried to pull back her arm, but Sanjeer was stronger than his slim built suggested. Pulling up her arm he scrutinized her skin.

“It’s nothing... Just a rash.” Kerrana said.

“A rash?” he raised an inquisitive eyebrow that made her loose her cool.

“What is it to you? It’s not infectious or anything... I think.” She looked at Amba for confirmation who actually gave a laugh at that and said, “I assure you, there is no way in the world you could catch this specific affliction of hers,” the old woman said and Sanjeer seemed to be content with that answer.

The wedding itself was a short affair, with the exchange of the magic vows and the witnesses giving their blessings. They could only hope old lady Gular would keep this bit of gossip to herself till the ceremony at least. For the traditional exchanging of gifts Kerrana gave her grandfather’s spell book. Sanjeer gave her a magic map of the continent that showed her current location as a green, blinking dot. She gave it a good look. They were a long way from the ocean. She could not imagine what in the world the healer could have used to bargain to make him agree to this. It was fishy. She almost snorted at that thought. Fishy, indeed. But there was no time to dally around. The witnesses left, old lady Gular giving Sanjeer a big bag of tuprills and pinching him in the cheek like a five-year-old. What on earth had him won her affection like this?

As she brushed down the red ceremony gown she’d brought from home, she stopped as she felt her sister’s amulet in the pocket. She weighed it in her hand, its round shape just fitting her palm. After a moment’s hesitation she decided to put it on.

“Let me.” Sanjeer said as if it was the most normal thing in the world. He did not wait for a reply as he took it from her hand and put the chain around her neck. “Thank you.” She whispered strangely flustered. “Beautiful.” He smiled and it did not seem sarcastic. “My sister made it,” she said, smiling herself. Her sister’s talents were really amazing. His smile grew even wider and she felt like she was missing something. Quickly she hid the amulet inside her robes and arranged them to cover her hair. She threw over a full veil for good measure and they were ready to leave.

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