And he was right. Vinzent, waiting down at the altar, felt his fingers shaking and hoped he would not drop the ring, when the five bridesmaids came into view, each in a buttercup yellow dress. Each carried a posy of yellow and white roses, and each had a golden cross on a golden chain glinting in the hollow of her neck. They blocked the view of the bride and Vinzent could feel his heart pulsing and thumping in his chest, pushing against his ribs as if it wanted to explode out and magick the whole wedding away, so that it was just he and she, alone and unwatched.
Suddenly his bride came into view, on the arm of her uncle Sir Humphrey Thimble, and Vinzent’s nerves evaporated immediately as Rob had known they would. Not that Vinzent was conscious of his qualms’ disappearance. It was as if they had never been. His eyes widened as he saw his bride.
Aoife wore a white dress, simple but flattering of her long slender body. It did not quite reach the floor, and it had several gold silk scarves sewn around, giving the gown an exotic flavour. The veil covered the bride’s olive eyes, now shining with tears of joy, and it made her mysterious and somehow inaccessible even to her dearest friends – apart from Vinzent, who was one with her in his own joy. An arc of yellow roses adorned the top of the veil, and Aoife’s long fair hair streamed out down her back. It was straight and soft and unremarkable as usual, but Vinzent was not of even a close opinion to I, for I am a cold observer and dictator, and he was the husband-to-be.
He merely closed his eyes and inhaled. Some people might have thought he was taking a deep breath. But we know that he was inhaling the sweet scent of roses and heather that was radiating off Aoife in the same way as her distinctive warmth.
More than one person cried when the vows were exchanged and Aoife and Vinzent shared their first kiss as a married couple; when Aoife Mariel Thimble became Aoife Mariel Watersheen.