Oh, today was a truly marvelous day. The city of Del and the palace were up and about with life. Food being prepared, decorations set up, presents handmade or bought from stores, everyone dressing in their Sunday Best. Oh, but why was this happening? Why all this preparation? A celebration? A birthday?
Well, it was technically a celebration, for on this today, King Lief was to be married!
But this could be considered a rather strange wedding; in the past the king was to be married to a Toran partner chosen by the Chief Advisor, as was part of the Rule. Lief had gotten rid of most of the traditions in the Rule, as some were purposefully made to weaken the kings and queens of Deltora for the Shadow Lord to invade. He was gone now, but nobody could be too sure, and Lief made changes. One of them was that now the current ruler could marry whoever they wanted no matter what.
Today, Lief was marrying someone very special to him, someone important that he loved. His Chief Advisor, good friend, and of course fiancé -- Dain.
A lot of people we’re confused but respected his choice, a lot of others saw it coming, and a few just didn’t understand. Their hateful voices were drowned by support, though they still reached Dain’s ears.
He didn’t want to worry about it, not on their special day. He should be the happiest person alive right now getting to marry the damn King of Deltora, but he wasn’t a person. Their hate was justified, of course, considering he was an Ol and tried to steal the Belt of Deltora. A majority of the kingdom knew his true identity, and it had taken them a little time or a long time to accept it, and accepted him all the same, aside from the occasional haters.
Still, despite the overwhelming support for their wedding, Dain couldn’t help but be overcome with anxiety. He hated it -- it had been years and he still couldn’t handle being a faulty Ol who could feel human emotions. He was just worried; an Ol, servant to the Shadowlord made from pure evil, marrying the King, the man who saved Deltora more than once who still remained kind despite all that he went through. It sounded so odd put into words.
At least, Dain was proof that even the most evilest of creations could be good. He still existed even if it wasn’t enough for some, and he tried to tell himself that was okay.
Right now, though, he was pacing worriedly around the dressing room. He was dressed in traditional wedding garb, woven from rich Toran fabric, the clothes lined with gold. His long hair was neatly braided and his faced was donned with beautiful make-up. So many things to worry about…
He jumped violently from a knock at the door. The door opened, and in poked Sharn’s head. Her kind eyes and sweet smile seemed to lift Dain’s anxiety from his shoulders.
“Hello,” she greeted, “Lief just wanted me to see how you were doing. Any pre-marriage jitters?”
Dain sighed. “A-ah, hello Miss Sharn. I’m fine, just a little nervous.” A little nervous was an understatement. “Do I look okay?”
“You look beautiful, dear.” She smiled wide, “I remember when I got married to Lief’s father. I was a little fearful -- I barely knew him, but we managed to make it work, and I soon really did fall in love with him.” Sharn sighed, “It makes me happy knowing my son will marry someone he truly loves.”
That made Dain smile a bit. Lief, marrying someone he really loved, and that someone was him. Even after everything, he chose him to be the one who would stay by his side in sickness and health till death did them part. His metaphorical heart was filled with love at the thought of being Lief’s husband. Still…
“Miss Sharn,” Dain said, “Did anyone...not approve of your marriage with Endon?”
Sharn chuckled lightly, “Oh, of course. There’ll always be people who don’t approve of weddings. In my case, some people thought Prandine could’ve chosen someone better, or more beautiful. I didn’t let them deter me though, and you shouldn’t anyone who disapproves deter you either.”
“Thank you, Miss Sharn, I-I just, I don’t know. I mean, first of all, I’m not even really human, you know. I’m really anxious, to be honest.”
A comforting hand was placed on his shoulder. “It’s normal to be anxious on your wedding day. Everything will be fine, I promise.”
Dain tried his best to believe it.
The time had arrived. The time when he would walk down the aisle and be joined in holy matrimony with his soon-to-be husband. Dain was more nervous than ever, standing in the room just before the altar, but he tried to remain calm.
Finally, it was time. Jarred was next to him to walk him down the aisle. He knew it was usually the father of the bride to walk them down the aisle, but his father was technically the Shadow Lord, and they certainly didn’t need another invasion, so Jarred was to walk him. He was technically the closest to a real father he had.
He linked his arm with Dain’s. “You ready?” He asked.
“As I’ll ever be,” Dain replied.
The doorway opened, and the first thing Dain saw was Lief. He was also dressed in traditional wedding garb, his hair pulled in just a ponytail. He was smiling as bright as the sun.
Then he noticed everyone else. The Officiant, the bridesmaids and groomsmen, the ring bearer -- who was the Kin known as Prin -- and the audience, made up of their friends and family.
Slowly, Jarred walked him down the aisle, then at the end passed him off to Lief, taking his seat at the front with Jasmine as the two joined hands. Lief’s eyes were bright and shiny, beaming with happiness. Dain couldn’t help smiling at how beautiful he was, scars and all.
The Officant began to read the opening. “Dear friends and family, we are gathered here today to witness and celebrate the union of King Lief and and Chief Advisor Dain in marriage.”
“Through their time together, they have come to realize that their personal dreams, hopes, and goals are more attainable and more meaningful through the combined effort and mutual support provided in love, commitment, and family; and so today, they will begin their life together, as husbands.”
Husbands. The word echoed in Dain’s mind. He really was going to spend his life with Lief, huh?
He had no problem with that at all. It’s what he wanted most after all.
Then the Officiant started the reading, “No other human ties are more tender, and no other vows more important, than those you are about to take. Both of you come to this day with the deep realization that the contract of marriage is sacred and binding, as are all of its obligations and responsibilities.”
“You will leave here embracing one of the greatest human bonds that life has to offer. May your shared life be adorned with the blossoms of love, and your days together be many and rewarding.”
Human bonds. But, he wasn’t- ah, screw it. Who the hell cared if Dain was human or not? He still loved Lief with all his heart, and that was all that mattered.
Now it was time for the vows. “Who shall speak their vows first?” Asked the Officiant. Dain knew exactly what he wanted to say.
Dain replied, “I’ll go, if I may.”
He inhaled, exhaled deeply.
“Lief, before I met you, I thought all that mattered in the world was power. That’s what...he told me. I wanted to be the best and most respected. Then you came along and practically turned my world view upside down. Not without help of course,” he glanced over at Jarred and Jasmine, “You helped teach me what it meant to love, to care, t-to be human, and that maybe absolute power wasn’t all that great. You became just such a positive force in my life that I-I wasn’t sure how I could-” He wiped at his eye, ‘I’m getting too sentimental, jeez.’
Another deep sigh. “Lief, I promise to always be there for you, to shelter and hold your love as the most precious gift in my life. I will be truthful and honor you, as I embrace you as the most important part of my life. I will care for you always and stand by you in times of sorrow and joy, forever nurturing the love I feel for you.”
Somewhere in the crowd Dain could hear Barda spluttering trying not to cry. In front of him, Lief’s eyes were shiny with tears, quickly moving to wipe them away as they ran down his cheeks.
Lief started his own vows, “I didn’t fall in love with you at first sight, but I did think you were attractive, and soon enough after our time together, somewhere along the way I had fallen for you. And I continued falling in love with you over and over again after everything. I’m so glad to know you, to love you, and now to wed you.”
He finished with tears in his eyes yet again, “I, Lief of Del, take you, my Chief Advisor Dain, to be my husband, my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward.”
Even the Officiant was trying now not to cry, and prompted for Prin to give the rings to the happy couple. "You have for each other a golden ring. This most precious of metals symbolizes that love is the most precious element in your life together. The ring has no beginning and no ending, which symbolizes that the love between you will never cease. You place these rings upon each others fingers as a visible sign of the vows which, this day, have made you husbands."
Lief took one of the golden rings and slipped it onto Dain’s ring finger as he said, “I give you this ring, a symbol of my love, as I give to you all that I am, and accept from you all that you are.”
Smiling, Dain then took the other ring and slipped it on to Lief’s own ring finger, replying, “This ring is a token of my love. I marry you with this ring, with all that I have and all that I am.”
Now the entire crowd was trying not to cry. Some more controlled than others, like Gla-thon and Jarred, and others more emotional like Barda and Neridah. Dain couldn’t help but chuckle at the sight.
The Officiant, wiping away his own tears, cheered out, “And now, by the power vested in me by the city of Tora, I pronounce you King and Chief Advisor! You may now kiss!”
Lief couldn’t wait. He eagerly grabbed his new husband’s face and kissed him with all he had. Dain was only surprised for a moment, then wrapped his arms around him and kissed him back. The entire crowd was cheering and whooping. The wedding bells were ringing. Lief’s arms were around him now, and he could swear he was being lifted up.
“Ladies and gentlemen, family and friends, for the first time I present to you King Lief and King-Chief Advisor Dain!”
Dain could never have been more happier in his whole life.