3rd of Coldeven 380 ONT on Board the Better Days on the Lower Promethean River
“How long is this going to take?”
“Give them time, this is a big decision.”
“Well excuse me if I don’t want to spend hours waiting around while they bang.”
“Whynny, that’s enough! Don’t sully this, it’s a big day in their lives, no matter what she decides, and– “ the Captain was interrupted as a flushed Serenity burst above deck.
“She said yes!!!”
The crew let out a collective cheer and ran forward to congratulate their master gunner.
Please listen while reading
Below deck, Aurellia was opening the parcel that Serenity had given her.
“I hope you like it. If you don’t you can wear anything you want, I just want you to feel special. Take your time, and I’ll be waiting for you on the bridge.”
She folded back the paper to reveal the softest elven silk. Pulling it out she found it was a white flowing dress with the finest silver embroidery. She changed out of her tattered work clothes, and was surprised to find that although the dress was sleeveless and made of the lightest, softest fabric, she felt warm as soon as it touched her skin. The parcel also held a pair of white cloth slippers and two small silver combs that looked like butterflies adorned with tiny blue jewels. Aurellia did her best to tame her hair with the combs, and stepped into the slippers.
Taking a deep breath, she left the mess hall and glided up to the deck of the ship. The slippers made her feel as though she were walking on clouds. If Serenity had wanted to make her feel special, she had definitely succeeded. As she stepped out into the sun, she saw that the whole crew was lined up along the sides of the ship leading to the bridge. Everyone smiled when they saw her, and Eldon began talking to anyone who would listen about how ‘stupendous’ she looked. She felt a wave of self-consciousness threaten to overtake her, but managed to keep walking.
The Captain met her once again at the top of the stairs and offered her his arm. She slipped her arm through his and he walked her to the ship’s bow where they found Serenity waiting with a beaming smile. “Don’t worry,” he whispered to her as they walked, “I’ve done this before, you’ll be okay.” Aurellia was relieved to see that it was only the three of them on the bridge, she felt more confident without everyone’s eyes on her.
Aurellia took Serenity’s hands in hers, and Serenity touched her forehead to Aurelia’s and whispered, “You are so gorgeous. I love you so much and I promise that I will always take care of you.” Aurellia smiled, “I promise to always be here for you. You are the most amazing person I have ever known, and you make me happier than I’ve ever been in my life.”
After a few moments the Captain cleared his throat, “Well now, lovely as you ladies are, I can’t stand around in this outfit all day, I’m not as fit as I once was.
So, without further ado, it is my deep honour as the Captain of the Better Days to perform this ceremony and to join you two lovers in a bond that cannot be broken in this life or the next. This is a sacred bond, and no one should enter into it with any doubt in their heart. Are you both sure that this is what you want?”
Aurellia and Serenity nodded in unison.
“Alright then, Serenity Fair, do you promise to love, honour, and cherish Aurellia – whether in her lightest moments or darkest days – for as long as you both shall live?”
“Forever, I do.”
“Then please hold out your right hand, palm up.”
“And Aurellia Ouelette, do you promise to love, honour, and cherish Serenity – whether in her lightest moments or darkest days – for as long as you both shall live?”
“Forever, I do.”
“Then please place your left hand, palm down, atop Serenity’s.”
The Captain began wrapping their hands with cord. “This cord represents the promises you have made on this day.” He began trying 3 knots from their fingertips to their wrists, “The knots represent the strength of the bond your love has formed – a bond that no one but the very Gods themselves may break.” He rested his right hand on top of the cord and looked at them both. “While the knots will be loosened and the cord removed, the promises and the bond you have created on this day will remain, and the responsibility to protect them will lie with each of you for all your days. It is my absolute pleasure to pronounce the two of you married. You may kiss your wife.”
Aurellia folded herself against Serenity and kissed her sweetly, and then Serenity kissed Aurellia’s temple and whispered in her ear, “Welcome home,” as she wrapped her free arm around her tightly.
The feast that night was decadent, Serenity had spared no expense, and everyone ate and drank their fill. Whynny drank a little more than her fill and found herself singing a duet with Eldon that she proclaimed to be the wedding gift she had been “waiting so long” to give them. Through it all, Serenity remained by Aurellia’s side, the knots untested, and Aurellia found herself in a dream world. She had never felt so wanted in all her life, but more than that, she felt she belonged here. With these people, on this ship, she had found the home she had been searching for since her mother left.
That summer Aurellia was promoted to an able bodied sailor, and worked hard to learn the ins and outs of her trade. She practiced her shooting, taking some direction from Serenity in long distance accuracy. She even began to feel a small friendship grow with Whynny, now that she was no longer at the bottom of the totem pole. And at the end of each day she and Serenity would sit on the crossbeam of the high mast and watch the sun set before retiring to their room. That summer was definitely the best one of her life, for a while everything seemed perfect.
And then that summer ended.