Gathering CrowdsMature

The carriage wound its way down tiny streets that Sarah hadn’t been on before. She was surprised at the pace they traveled. At last, when they had reached the lowest level of Verdas, they stopped. Cattle lowed at them from their stables as the Grand-Pairents hopped out with unexpected agility. Rising, Sarah peered towards the front to see what they were doing, but Jason gently restrained her. She gave him a mock glare, which he responded to by kissing her.

“Making up for lost time?” she asked as Grand-Pairents hopped back in and the carriage jolted forward, the sound of bells accompanying it.

Jason didn’t answer, merely smiling, as his arm moved to encircle Sarah’s waist. He sat up straight making Sarah feel the need to do so as well. When he smiled and waved at the people they passed, Sarah suddenly felt like the prom queen in the annual spring parade of her hometown. Smiling as well, Sarah looked about and did her best attempt at a Princess wave. Some smiled and waved back. Other’s merely glanced up from their work.

A young girl sweeping off some steps was the first to cry, “A Knight’s wedding!”

Soon, those words sounded all around them, as joy and excitement filled the air. By the time the carriage made it through the market, it was obvious the news had foraged ahead, for everyone was waving to them now.

“I think there shall be a large crowd,” Grand-Fayther Jesus chuckled.

“Well it has been a month of Memorials, people need the cheering,” the Grand-Moyther responded.

“What do they mean a large crowd?” Sarah whispered to Jason.

“A Knight’s Wedding is open to all who wish to attend,” Jason informed her.

“Even the Reception?” Sarah asked, hoping Madame Vivian would not have to cook for so many.

“No,” Jason chuckled, “the Reception is private. Though there always seem to be one or two party crashers.”

“Yes, well thankfully Gregory is invited to this one,” the tone in Grand-Fayther’s voice clearly indicated a disdain for the man.

“Although,” the Grand-Moyther became thoughtful, “I have not had to council women on his behalf since Phoenixes’ betrothal.”

Sarah turned her attention to Jay rather than on the conversation up front. “So the Temple can fit all these people we’ve seen?”

“I have never seen anyone turned away, though I have seen people try to get a better view by climbing the Willows.” He smiled at her. “Normally that’s highly frowned upon, but for a Knight’s Wedding no one pays much heed.”

“Makes it seem like the Willows sing for the Knight and his Madame.” The Grand-Moyther smiled at them.

“Right.” Sarah gulped as her stomach tightened into a knot.

Grinning, Jason pulled her tighter. “Our Weddings aren’t nearly as complicated as yours,” he whispered, “the Grand-Pairents will guide us through it as they do for everyone.”

His hand moved to her cheek and he gently pulled her in for another kiss, much to the crowd’s delight. Flushing, Sarah pulled back, but resisted the urge to shove his shoulder. Jason went back to grinning and waving as did she. By the time they reached the Noble’s quarters Sarah felt as though her arm might fall off. Thankfully, there didn’t seem to be any one about here so her arm got a rest.

“Does Vervellean nobility shun such festivities?” she asked. The streets were deserted.

Jason chuckled. “Oh no, that is not the case at all, though we tend to be more sedate about the whole proceeding. What I suspect happened is that my mother gathered them all this morning and set them to helping Madame Vivian or to keep the crowd in the Temple somewhat organized.”

Nodding Sarah sat back and relaxed a bit. She sat back up as they reached the barracks, but it too was deserted.

“A scout must have spied the carriage when the Grand-Pairents came to pick us up this morning," Jason responded to her unspoken question. "I would not be surprised if the Scouts were the first ones in the Temple this morning.”

“So they got the good spots then?” she asked.

Jason smiled. “It is not every day a Scout Sergeant gets married as a Knight.”

“You,” The Grand-Fayther stated as he stopped the carriage before the Temple, “would be the first.”

“And,” The Grand-Moyther quickly alighted, “if a Pauper can become a King.”

Jason grinned as he helped Sarah down. “Anything is possible.”

The End

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