FOREVER KNIGHTS: #20 Watchers Gathering

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RHYERS - Wedding Ebony

Marshall Manse, Mane Country


Rhyers had been grumbling for hours. “This is a bloody terrible idea.”

“I could still wed someone else.”

“The Devil you could.” Rhyers snapped. Giving her a quick look. Before composing himself. “Afterall who else would have you. You’re a bleeding pain in the tail.”

“I care about you too, Bodin!” She sneered. Quite cheerful.

Because she’s manipulated this situation.

“This is the most foolish decision you’ve ever made, Ebs.” He was sitting on his usual white settee. Clearly pouting. Elbows on his knees and chin in his palms. Like a child listening to a story. His glass of port sat on the tea table, muddied from his boots. Untouched.

The seamstress was fitting her for the garment in the corner.

And I’m doing my damnedest not to watch. Seeing the dress being pulled tight and tugged up and down was dizzying his senses and causing a reaction in his body that’d required him to sit forward to shield his rising problems.

“What do you think?” Ebony asked.

The seamstress stepped aside and revealed Ebony in a vibrant white gown. Beaded in pretty pearls. With a high neckline and a large cut out diamond to just hint at cleavage and the delicate bones of her collar. A veil over her black hair.

Ebony peered up at him from beneath sooty lashes. “What do you think?”

He realized he’d frozen where he was, jaw agape. He gulped.

She was gorgeous. Long black hair flowed in a couple subtle waves over her shoulders. The gown perfectly emphasized her porcelain skin and the slight blush on her cheeks just below her dark eyes.

“You look stunning, Ebs.”

“Good.” She dismissed. Smoothing the dress down. “I feel like an ornament that should go on a tree.”

“Or a pedestal.” He blurted. Grimacing at his own idiocy.

She gave him a long look that indicated she was touched by the compliment.

Rhyers you damn fool.

I should find a way out of this wedding.

Rhyers failed.

In two days time he was standing at the alter blinking at Ebony who had a death grip on his hand and a warning look on her face that said if he bolted, she’d soundly thrash him in his sleep.

What the devil am I doing? He wondered for about the tenth time that morning.

His dazed green gaze flicked over the massive crowd gathered. At the front was a pouting Rebecca Parsons.

Awful girl.

He caught Ebony shooting her a few triumphant glances.

Good I’m a prize to be displayed on a shelf. He thought dryly.

His eyes roved the crowd and caught sight of barely anyone he really knew. Lots of acquaintances. Very few friends.

How’d she rally so many people to come in such short notice. He swallowed again.

At the very back of the lawn. Beyond all the people in chairs, was a line of those who had no seats. Amidst them was a tiny figure in a cloak pulled low over her face.

It’s either a child or Elsabet.

Ebony catching his chin and turning his face to look at her drew his attention. Sweat trickled from his brow and he knew his hands were moist.

He wanted to wipe them on his pants but every time he moved to draw them from Ebony’s grip she tightened her fingers and narrowed her eyes warningly.

She thinks I’m going to bolt.

Which really was a reasonable assumption since he’d considered doing exactly that several times.

They were asked if they both agreed to the terms of the wedding. She quickly said yes. Leaning forward to beam up at him prettily.

They asked him and all he could think was that her eyes seemed very large and intense that moment.

She shook his hand and jerked him from his reverie.

He cleared his throat and quickly agreed.

They were permitted to kiss and he stiltedly leaned forward.

She lurched up on her toes and kissed his cheek.

He pivoted on his heel and aimed toward the refreshments table. To find something a bit harder then all this sweet wine.

It’s nauseating.

She caught him by the back of the collar.

“Bodin! Where are you going?” She hissed under her breath.

He gestured longingly toward the table.

“In a minute! Shake hands with our guests.”

He was certain he audibly whimpered. “I’m not well-suited to this, Ebs.”

“You?” She turned and lifted a haughty brow. “I thought you were Master of the guises.”

“I am.”

“Then put one on that says you’re happy to be standing next to me.”

He deflated. “How long is this going to take?”

“Stop whining.”

His eyes lingered on the punch table, laden with wines and a decanter of brandy and one of port. He wished he could stretch his arms far enough to reach.

Once people broke and the wine and port and ale poured freely, Rhyers began to relax. Drinking liberally enough he’d pulled up a chair at the corner of the table and was rapidly refilling his glass from the decanter.


“What!” He was so anxious he nearly dropped his glass as he jumped.

“What is wrong with you?”

“I don’t know?” He squawked. “What’d I do now?”

Why is she being so harsh?

“Come dance with me like you like me.” She leaned over his chair in such a way that he was certain if he did not comply she’d break the decanter over his head.

“Why are you sending me so many violent glances?” He stood. Voice a little shrill.

“Because you’re acting a nervous wreck.”

I am a nervous wreck. He blinked at her.

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