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Journal for Nov. 24, 2009
Experience Awards: Next Session:
  Tuesday Jan. 7th 2010
  6:30 PM

Thursday November 19th IC 1428
PictureCeleste Vittorio - My skin welcomed the radiant waves of heat from the hearth. Inside me a fire of passion still resonated like ripples in a water glass after a satisfying drink. Happiness suffused me and held me in a dream-like state. I curled my toes willing the sensation to take one more trip across the vessel of my body.

The pale light of morning threatened to peel back the veil of night. A new day was nearly upon us. What would the future hold for the two of us? Everything had changed in a night. And what a night it turned out to be.

Earlier in the day I had spoken briefly with Corman, and his entourage. He or one of his followers had discovered a vacant building in which to found a place of worship for his fledgling religion. I was reminded of the ministry of Cuthbert in the early days of the Holy Mother Church.

Calais and Silverhawk arrived from the market. She was cooing over some culinary treat she called mustard. The yellow paset smothered some charred meat on a stick, and a fair amount of her face and hands. Unbridled in her enthusiasm she shoved a portion of the meat into Enzo's mouth. This was a side of Silverhawk I seldom saw. It pealed a layer of her hardened facade away for me. I think I better understood Calais' attraction to her.

I explained to the others that Enzo and I had agreed to be wed here in town.
The revelation was more surprising than mustard on meat. After a flurry of congratulations, Calais was hatching ideas for the celebration. We agreed that a wardrobe change was in order and I was to be fitted for a gown. Silverhawk was to be the Maid of Honor and assist in that endeavor.


It had been a long time since I looked at myself in a mirror. My minds eye still remembered the awkward, too tall, little girl of six summers ago. Now I too saw what others saw. Not a girl in a boy's profession wearing a padded practice jerkin, but a woman.

I barely knew that woman in the mirror. Dresses were nearly unknown to me in my adult life. Time a circumstance had taken me far from the maidenly pursuits of my youth.

"Hold still." Silverhawk cautioned as she pushed a cherry half against my lips. "It will give you color." She didn't wait for my permission. I liked that about her. Surely her mixed heritage and rural rearing contributed to her willful nature. Her uncultured nature gave me permission to abandon some of mine. My tongue savored the sweet juice of the cherry. Her almond eyes studying my expression as I tasted the tart fruit. The intimacy of the exchange registered on us at the same moment. We laughed again to hide the strangeness of our situation. The laugh started small, but grew to a wild summit in moments. Both of us uneasily reclaiming something of our lost youths. At the same time expelling some of the darkness still clinging to us from our recent adventures in Hell. Lost in the heaves of a gut splitting moment we were no longer warriors or heroes. We were just two girls in a dress shop.


The Kindlefest has served as an excellent backdrop for my wedding night. The guest list was an interesting melange of opposites and compromises. The irony and appropriateness of it all was not lost on me. Lord Eldred had used his seasoned public persona to celebrate our accomplishments and wish us well in our future together. As he spoke the words of commendation I looked into the eyes of my beloved. Who would have guessed our story?

It wasn't our first meeting on the mountain near The Chalice that I would hold in my memory. It was the night when I visited his camp after the battle at Y'ves. The spirits of the men were low, for in victory they had lost one of their own whom was very close to them. They called him Mouse, a fitting description at the time. I had seen many fallen soldiers and his was unremarkable from the others. In hindsight the moment would become significant. For it was at that time when our futures melded. From that night on our paths would be intertwined.


"Wouldn't it be funny if she were mouse in disguise?" Calais words were barely audible over the chorus of voices raised in song. The scrawny girl that Hawke had appointed to see to the catering of this affair had just emerged from the crowd in time for our toast for the evening. The vintage bottle of wine flowed into our glasses as we celebrated our good fortune.
"As fate would have it your guess is very close to the mark." The timber of the girl's voice changed mid sentence as she pulled the scarf from her head. "Well met old friends."  She said in a whispery alto tone.
"I knew it was you!" Calais said still reeling from the surprise reveal.
We spent long minutes catching up on the lost time between our associations. For us it had only been weeks, but mouse had taken the long route back to the present. He wore his years well, only looking more handsome and fit than I remember him. Nestled behind his familiar jovial personality sat something undeniable, something malevolent and dark. It caught in my throat like a bone in a meat pie; Tainting the experience and cutting just a little. I tried to get beyond my instincts, but it was Mouse's turn to drive home the point. Calais too felt the weight of it. Our friend was no longer in the province of good company. Mouse had the gall to snack on a bystander to facilitate a toast in blood.

This was my wedding night and no one was going to ruin the evening.
"Enzo, I never did get that dance." I distanced myself from Mouse's actions. Whatever resolution there was for our situation would be resold another day. Without loosing a step a laid Cuthbert's healing hand on the hapless bystander, restoring his lost health. Mouse sensing his overstayed welcome after Calais' hasty departure seized the moment to melt into the night.

Benito Cenzi had been a blessing to us since we met nearly a year ago. His wisdom and council had seen us through troubling times. It was only fitting that he perform the ceremony that bound us together 'till death do us part. The view from the steps of St. Michael's was like that of a fairy tale. The sea of flowers on the steps seemed to lift the line of companions and associates onto a cloud. Beyond the cloud a sea of torches blended into the welkin of night, bridging the earth and the heavens into a seamless dreamy tapestry.

I faced my husband to be. The gown that draped my arms cast constellations of light on my beloved. He spoke in confirmation of his vows. My eyes moistened and flowed before I knew the emotion was on me. The warm tears turned cold quickly in the autumn air. Then it was my turn to speak. I don't remember what I said. I know that in that moment I opened my heart and let it speak for me. When I was done and our rings exchanged, I heard the words that I never thought would be uttered in my presence.
"You may now kiss the bride." He said.
As Enzo bent back the veil a new chapter opened in my life.

With a kiss the bargain was struck.

To have and hold.

To cherish.

To love.