Despite the chaos that loomed overhead, it was said to be such a joyous occasion, that even the townsfolk along the shores were rejoicing. The halls had been decorated with hundreds of white flowers and the songs rang out in the streets, everyone waiting for the main event to fall upon them.
Gil, Mist and Sif were led outside to greet the people, dressed in their finery and donning huge smiles as they mounted three, white horses with manes plaited and adorned with white roses. Upon a fourth, sat Ashlyn, proud indeed as she led the females first through the city towards the great hall.
Behind them rode Gil, led by his most loyal friend, Robert and as they moved through the crowd the cheers grew louder, as if the heavens themselves rang out with joy. Jack was there, up ahead, sitting tall upon his own mount, a cheeky grin splayed across his face. He stopped for a moment, calling the Einherjar to attention and came abreast of the formation.
Robert smiled, and bowed his head, allowing the male to fall in beside him and together they led Gil into the Great Hall and to the dais where his mates where already waiting.
Today was to be perfect, right down to the Elven charms woven into the strands of Mist and Sif’s hair. The priestess officiating called out for silence, wrapping golden ribbons around their wrists. “Let the universe hear now your vows of love, and let no one speak against ye.”
Gil swallowed hard before he spoke, as nervous as a green recruit. He stammered slightly, before regaining his composure. “I, Gil, in the name of the spirit of the Goddess that resides within us all, by the life that courses within my blood and the love that resides within my heart, I take thee Mist, and Sif, to mine own hands, my heart and my spirit. I choose thee, to be my chosen. To desire thee and be desired by thee, to possess thee, and be possessed by thee, without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways, as I respect myself.”
Such beautiful words fell from his lips, bringing both Mist and Sif to tears as they spoke their vows together. “We vow, in the name of the spirit of Goddess that resides within us all, by the life that courses within my blood, and the love that resides within my heart, take thee, Gil to my hand, my heart, and my spirit to be my chosen. To desire and be desired by thee, to possess thee, and be possessed by thee, without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways as I respect myself.”
With that said, the trio exchanged a gifting of golden rings, as was custom where Gil came from, and then as per the Valkyrie custom, Mist and Gil exchanged swords as the priestess spoke the words that sealed the three of them together. Sif, the Goddess that she was, had already assured the priestess that her gifts had been shared, and if proof was needed the female could send for the bedsheets before they were washed. This brought out a roar of laughter, to which Sif giggled, before producing three pendants that hung from thin silver chains; chunks of crystal she had whispered sweet nothings into before placing them around their necks.
The priestess nodded and waited for the crowd to calm before she spoke. “As I have heard the words and seen the gifts exchanged, I now pronounce you mated, my lord, you can kiss your brides.”
Gil didn’t need any prompting, with shit-eating grin on his face, he leaned in and let his wives take control. The three of them embraced causing someone to whistle as the rest applauded, before any lips had even connected. Mist giggled, sending Sif into a bout of laughter while Gil tried his damnedest to keep himself together.
Adrenaline racing at the thought of their union, his mind filling with ideas and images of what was to come; he couldn’t help himself and he raised his fist high, signaling another round of applause.
‘I love you both, so very much!’ Gil whispered in their minds as he drew them closer, their lips connecting in a bond that would see them all mated, for life.
Neither female said a word, they didn’t need words to shower him with their love. A tender embrace, a long, drawn out kiss and a sinful smile beneath eyes that sparkled. He was the luckiest man alive. Two of them, he had two, incredibly talented and down-right beautiful wives. Someone had to pinch him, quick. If this were a dream, he never wanted it to end.
Sif giggled, pinching his bicep as he’d requested. “We can’t let that ego of yours soar too high, now!” She laughed, promptly soothing the pain with a kiss.
“Thanks for that!” He chuckled in reply, wrapping his arms around both wives and step by step they walked as one to the head of an enormous banquet table.
The wedding feast was set to begin, with ale and roast beast a plenty. The hall was decorated in the same white flowers and vines, draped around pillars and across the ceiling above the tables. Light filled the great hall, billowing from lanterns enchanted by the Elven queen herself, and laughter rang out as the music began; not a care as to what would follow in the weeks to come.
None of them thought about war, no swords were raised in the name of battle and no blood was shed, save for an incident involving a dagger and a game of skill. This was what life was all about; and yet, as Gil sat there, his own thoughts went to the eminent show down with Malice.
He kept those thought to himself, wanting nothing to ruin their happy day. They needed this, all of them, they needed to relax before the storm.
“You may hide your thoughts, husband, but you cannot hide that look on your face!” Mist smiled at him as she raised her glass to her lips.
“Just you watch, I’m a master of disguise!” He chuckled back, with a smile so big.
Wasn’t hard, when the most beautiful brunette was sitting right beside you. All he had to do was picture her naked, in bed with Sif, the both of them waving for him to join them. Whether it was wishful thinking, or the future revealed, it gave him many a reason to enjoy the rest of the night.
“You will behave, right?” Sif whispered in his ear, sending chills down his spine and an even bigger grin to slide across his face.
Malice awoke the next morning still pondering the previous night’s events. Two, familiar presences filled her mind, one very, very old and another who just recently invaded her mental inventory and was hiding somewhere between her time on Earth and the moment she lost all sight of the light. Sneaky little bugger, the latter one was; though she had to give credit where credit was due.
The Cosmic Feline had a way with words, promising great wonders. The puzzling thing, was why the creature even cared. It was a mystery to say the least. No one, had ever wanted to help her, unless of course there was something in it for them; but this fur covered beast pleaded otherwise. Nonetheless, it would seem as if her new companion was staying.
The Dark Valkyrie smiled, sensing the creature’s approach. ‘Speak of it and it will come.’ She teased, eyeing an ear at first, then a few whiskers as the critter entered her sights.
This was like a dream, or rather what the Valkyries had called a Dreamscape, and in here, Malice knew she had the power to shift her surroundings. She was Valkyrie after all, whether she was on their side or not, their blood still flowed through her veins. She’d seen enough of the darkness and in those times the shadows had offered comfort, but not here and not now. Carefully, she constructed a room, her room in fact, located in Marena’s tower. It had been so long since last she’d walked its floors and she wondered if she’d gotten it right.
An illusion, but still filled with the love they had shared. Art lined the walls and every shelf held a row of books. In the far corner sat an immense, four-post bed, its dark red sheets, perfectly pressed, as if it waited for her to climb in. On the other side of the room sat an elegant stone fireplace, lit and billowing its warmth to fill the room while on top rested an array of crystal cubes, just where she’d left them.
It was as she remembered, dark and inviting, though there was no laughter, no voices at all. It had once been filled with such, the love and life flowing through the whole keep; but love was one of the few emotions that set her kind apart from the likes of the Shadows and their Masters. They claimed to love, but it was nothing more than lust, wrapped in a pretty little package and set to captivate those they wanted to control.
To control, meant to own and she pictured Marena, with her long dark hair and emerald green eyes. Pathen controlled her, he controlled them both. One word from his lips and Malice had watched as Marena had disappeared, part of the punishment for what Malice had done. For months, she’d hoped to hear from the female, but Pathen had ensured the only contact would be through him. He wanted to control them, wanted to rise in the ranks and control it all. He cared not for those he claimed to love. He cared not that Malice suffered, separated from Marena for far too long.
Something had to be done and Malice was bound and determined to see whatever it was, through to the end. There was a reason Pathen wanted Misthaven, but Malice wanted it even more. Having taken Misthaven, the Council of Shadows would have no choice but to reinstate her and give back what they had taken. With Misthaven under her control, she could ask for the bastard’s head on a silver platter, and as their champion, they could not refuse.
Even her Host had grown tired of the fool, though her anger ran deeper than even Malice could fathom. There were issues, hidden beneath decades of secrets and lies and Marwolaeth couldn’t wait to see the bastard fall.
‘Careful now…’ The voice rose in her mind, her Host beckoning for Malice’s will to remain silent. ‘Patience, Malice. Patience!’
Another voice rose up as the Host receded in to the shadows, reminding the Dark Valkyrie she was still there.
‘Together, we can see you free of all this chaos, Marwolaeth’s included!’ The Cosmic Critter smiled, her eyes flashing from the tall grasses at Malice’s feet. ‘Just remember, I am here to help!’