Anna was trembling as she stood in her bedroom. What on Earth was she doing? She was only nineteen; Matt was far older than her, and an alien. This was such a bad idea.
“Anna, calm down!” whispered Delorfinde reassuringly in her ear. “It’ll be absolutely fine, you’ll see.” Anna nodded and gulped, trying to believe it, but that didn’t stop the terror she was feeling.
“I can’t help it,” she whispered back. Her voice was a croak, and realising this, her panic grew worse. “What if I lose my voice just before it’s time to say the vows?”
The vows … Anna fought off a fear that threatened to envelop her. It was going to be fine. She looked down at herself and wished fervently that she hadn’t. The wedding dress was beautiful, but she kept feeling that she was too young, that this wasn’t going to work.
I can’t do this! I’m going to cry; I know I am, thought Anna as she stroked the cool white satin with trembling fingers.
“Anna!” commanded Delorfinde. “Stop worrying!” The young bride looked up at her friend sheepishly.
“I’m sorry, I can’t help it…” She brushed a strand of hair back behind her ear. “But what about you? Don’t you need to get ready?”
“I’ll do your hair, and then I’ll go,” promised Delorfinde. Her outfit already lay ready in the room next door. With a few deft movements she had pinned Anna’s dark hair up into a beautifully subtle arrangement.
“Thanks, Del,” said Anna, looking at herself in the mirror and hardly daring to believe what she was about to do. “You’d better go get ready, I guess. Make sure you corner Spook first, though!”
Anna grinned as she heard Delorfinde catch the other bridesmaid.
“I’m trying to get things ready!” Spook complained. Though interested in being a bridesmaid, she had not seen her dress until now, and was a little apprehensive.
“You need to get ready,” Delorfinde told her, and half dragged her into the dressing room.
Anna sat with eager anticipation. She wanted to get up and pace around - or even better, see Matt - but Delorfinde had forbidden her to move, in case she creased the dress. So it was with a huge grin that she saw how her bridesmaids looked. Anna had designed the dresses herself, but hadn’t seen them in real life before that day. What she saw now pleased her very much.
Spook had Shifted her appearance ever so slightly so that her hair was black. This contrasted strongly with the dress, which was flame-red, with gold and orange embroidery. It had a tight bodice, which became soft and loose around the waist, leaving a skirt that fell in beautiful folds to the ground. It looked equally stunning on Delorfinde, whose dark hair and tanned skin made her look almost foreign.
“You look amazing!” she told them.