Cairn and Bree made their way into town shortly after breakfast. They were excited to find out what designs the florist and caterer had come up with. Cairn wanted to see her visions come to life in their creations. He was all too eager to escort her into the florists as soon as they opened their doors.
The sweet couple greeted them warmly as they unlocked the door to let them in. Cairn shook the man’s hand as Bree introduced them. They were led right to the back of the store where the lady pulled out her notebook and began showing off her designs for the wedding.
“Wow,” Cairn muttered as he looked over the lifelike drawing of the town square.
Bree had chosen a combination of lilacs, lavender, and roses. The lady had designed a complete lattice work covered in all three. The purple was accented with white roses and baby’s breath. Green vines held it all together and were draped across the entire square. Cairn watched Bree smile, pleased by the design.
“I love it.” She said. “How long is it going to take?”
“We could have it up as early as tomorrow afternoon.” The man replied.
“Really?” She perked right up.
“That soon,” Cairn replied.
“Absolutely, it’s a quick and easy design. It won’t take us long at all to get it together.” The lady smiled.
“Are we really going to say tomorrow?” Bree asked Cairn.
“I think tomorrow is wonderful.” He said kissing her head.
“Ok,” Bree shrugged. “Tomorrow it is.”
“Fantastic!” The lady replied. “We will get started right away.”
“Thank you so much,” Bree smiled and took Cairn by the hand.
They turned to go, out of the corner of his eye Cairn thought he caught a glimpse of something darkening. He shook the thought away, thinking it was just his mind, or the light playing tricks on him. The florist’s eyes darkened, turned black, and watched quietly as the couple walked out the front door together.
Bree was scared to tell the caterer that the wedding would be tomorrow afternoon. Cairn watched her walk through the front door of the bakery trying to hold her composure. They were more than ready for the couple as they stopped at the counter in front of the freshly baked bread.
“I think you’ll be pleased by the cake we’re ready to create for you.” The man smiled.
“I hope you can have it done on time. We’re ready as of tomorrow afternoon.” Cairn stated shaking the man’s hand.
“We’ve already begun baking the actual cake that your mate chose. It was just down to the decision of the decoration on the cake.” The man replied.
Cairn was distracted for a moment. There it was again, the darkness. It seemed to cover everyone in the room for a moment and then vanish. Bree failed to notice anything other than Cairn looking around as if he had seen a ghost.
“Are you alright?” She asked.
“Yeah, it’s nothing.” He smiled weakly.
“So, the design,” The man continued as he pulled out his pen and paper.
“You mentioned your preference of colors and flowers.” The man said as he sketched out the six tier design.
Cairn watched as the man made quick work on the paper. The six tiers burst to life covered in roses and vines. It wrapped around the white cake reaching the top where the bride and groom were depicted with wooden figures.
“Beautiful,” Bree replied.
“If you approve we can have it finished by morning.” The man replied.
“I absolutely approve,” Bree smiled.
“Great,” The man replied handing the design to the woman behind him.
“We can deliver it right to the square and have it all set up for after the ceremony.” The man stated.
“Unreal,” Cairn replied with half a smile. “Thank you very much.”
“Yes, thank you.” Bree added.
Cairn escorted Bree out of the caterers. The sunlight was bright to her eyes but seemed covered in darkness to him. He rubbed his eyes trying to get the black blur he saw out of his line of vision. When he opened them again it was gone but the ominous feeling wasn’t.
“Are you sure you’re alright?” Bree asked him.
“I’m fine,” He smiled and kissed her cheek. “Go ahead without me. I’ve got to stop by the council room. I’ll catch up with you this afternoon.”
“If you insist,” She mockingly pouted.
He kissed her pouty lips, “Go.”
Cairn watched Bree dance off through the streets happily. He then made his way off to the council building in a rush. The darkness lingered on his mind as he entered. He searched out Fahre and Osef finding them in the back office. The way he approached them, they instantly knew something was wrong.
“Sit down son.” Fahre said pulling out the chair for him.
Cairn sat there for a moment with his head in his hands. He felt as if he was losing his mind. Fahre and Osef waited patiently for him to gather his thoughts. When he was ready he sat up and looked at them.
“Something is wrong. I can’t explain it.” Cairn stated.
“Try,” Osef replied.
“I’m seeing things, darkness surrounding people, and blackness in their eyes. But, it’s only me that sees it. Bree was completely oblivious to it. It’s everywhere. I can’t get it out of my sight.” He stated.
“Who did it surround?” Fahre asked.
“The humans,” Cairn hissed, “Every last one of them.”
They turned to see that they were being watched. The intellectuals had gathered in the hallway as they passed by on their way to the stairs. When they saw that they were noticed, they moved on quietly, without saying a word to anyone.
“That is strange.” Osef noted. “We will keep our eyes open and our mouths shut for now. If you notice anything else, tell us as soon as you get the opportunity.
“Yes sir,” Cairn replied. “On a good note, tomorrow afternoon is the wedding.”
“Well, that’s wonderful news.” Fahre smiled.
“I’m probably just stressed out from it all. Bree is going head first, hands in, and all out on this.” Cairn chuckled.
“I’m sure you’re nervous. Let’s put it aside for now. There’s something a bit more pressing we must address.” Fahre commented.
“Sir,” Cairn questioned.
“We need suits.” Fahre said solemnly.
Osef let loose in a howl of laughter. Cairn couldn’t help but join in as Fahre pulled him up out of the chair. They made their way out of the building together in a swarm of laughter and joy.
Just as Bree made it to Ellyll keep she found herself face to face with the lady from the dress shop. Overcome with joy she snatched the box out of the woman’s hands with one arm and hugged her with the other. The woman laughed and hugged her back politely. When Bree released her she disappeared back into the crowd.
Bree made her way into the keep with the box in hand. She was all too excited when she found Calypso in the throne room holding Lilith in her lap as she spoke to a well dressed man. She felt awkward interrupting with her minor excitement. She stood quietly at the back of the room bouncing back and forth from one foot to the other.
“Bree,” Calypso said waving her forward. “Come meet Prince Erevan Yaer.”
“Your highness,” She bowed politely as she approached.
“My lady,” He replied with a soft smile.
“It’s an honor to meet you.” Bree replied.
“He came in this morning. We were just discussing matters of state.” Calypso smiled. “I see your dress has come in.”
Bree looked down at the box, “It did thank you. I’m going to run it over to my father’s home in a bit. If you’d like I can take Lilith with me so you can finish state matters.”
“That would be wonderful thank you. I’m expecting King Kier Mayrdin soon as well. Aryian went to meet him at the border.” Calypso replied.
“It’s no trouble at all. Should I plan for a larger supper than usual when I get back?” She asked.
“Yes please, you’re a saint Bree.” She replied.
Bree laughed, “I’m about to be a pain in the wings though. We set the wedding up for tomorrow afternoon. I had no idea you were going to be busy.”
“Oh, that’s great!” Calypso exclaimed.
“If it would not offend the lady, perhaps I could attend?” Prince Erevan asked.
“I would be honored to have you in attendance.” Bree said surprised he would even offer.
“Then it is settled,” Prince Erevan replied with a smile. “If it is alright with you, Queen Calypso, we can continue on this afternoon. I need to find a place to stay for the evening.”
“At your leisure, your highness,” Calypso smiled.
Prince Erevan bowed and excused himself. Bree stared at Calypso wide eyed and unsure of what had just transpired. Calypso replied with a shrug and handed Lilith over.
“It’s been a busy morning for the both of us.” Calypso stated with a chuckle. “I wasn’t expecting to hold a formal audience with the rulers of other kingdoms today.”
“I wasn’t expecting everyone to be ready for the ceremony by tomorrow afternoon.” Bree replied.
“How’s Cairn taking all of this?” Calypso asked as she walked beside Bree into the hallway.
“He seemed a bit off this morning. But he’s excited and so am I.” Bree replied.
“Well, that’s fantastic. I can’t tell you how excited we all are. It’s nice to have something worth celebrating again.” Calypso smiled.
“Come on now, it wasn’t that long ago and we were celebrating yours.” Bree chuckled.
“That seems like a lifetime ago now.” Calypso laughed. “Off with you before we’re both late. I’m in serious need of a bath before everyone else gets here.”
“Alright, gather up your energy. It’s going to be an interesting twenty four hours.” Bree laughed.
“You’re not kidding.” Calypso sighed as she handed Lilith over.
Bree perched the box in one arm and cradled Lilith in the other as she made her way off down one side of the hall while Calypso made her way up the other side. They parted ways at the throne room, each with their jobs to do for the rest of the day. So, off Bree went with a sense of urgency pending on her shoulders. There was much to do and very little time left to do it in.