Seriah stared back at Rasmus' mother, her mind completely blank. Rasmus noticed this, and asked, "But Mom, what does this have to do with getting married?"
His mother lit up and fairly squealed, "You two could get married before you leave! Wouldn't that work out so wonderfully?"
Rasmus was now starting to share Seriah's bewilderment. "But it's only three days until the shipment leaves! Isn't it a bit sudden? This is a very important decision, we gotta think this through first!" Rasmus glanced at Seriah, who was still staring into nothingness. He grabbed her hand, and she instantly turned to him and blinked in confusion. He smiled a little, then he said to his parents in a slightly stern tone, "We need some time to discuss this, if you would be so kind." His mother and father looked at each other, then got up from their chairs and hurriedly left the room.
Rasmus knew they would be hiding behind the corner eavesdropping, but wasn't very concerned. He turned back to Seriah and asked in his familiar gentle tone, "So what do you think?"
Seriah's mind was still reeling. She had so many things going through her head she couldn't keep up. She didn't say anything for a long time, which made Rasmus a little nervous. When she finally spoke, she replied with a hint of excitement, "Well, I think it's actually a really good idea. I mean, seriously... what kind of a future do we have here? We would get caught eventually, and the sentence could be awful. I think we should do it."
Rasmus mirrored her smile, but something made him get serious again. "So, you really want to do this? This could go horribly wrong, and who knows where we'll end up."
Seriah suddenly felt a surge of determination, "This won't go wrong, we will make it out safely. I really think this is what we should do."
Rasmus smiled again, then something popped into his head. "Well, I guess I should do this properly then..." he muttered as he fumbled in his pocket for a minute. Seriah watched with curiosity, and as Rasmus bent down on one knee, she realized with utter delight what he was doing. "Seriah, my sweet Seriah, will you marry me?" He presented a small case with a ring inside, and it was the most beautiful ring she had ever seen. The gem wasn't a diamond, but a ruby of the deepest red, surrounded by a band of gold. Seriah was so speechless, she covered her mouth with her hands. She murmured as she started to cry, "Yes!" Rasmus took her in his arms and squeezed her tight. Seriah was still crying when Rasmus' overjoyed parents burst back into the room and started causing havoc in the kitchen. Rasmus' mother was sobbing for all she was worth, and Seriah realized she finally had a family again.
The wedding took place a day before they were to leave. Seriah didn't get to wear a fancy dress and there was no extravegant decorations in the barn (since, well... it's a barn...), but it was the happiest moment of her life. As she joined hands with Rasmus while they said their vows, she finally felt like things were working out for her. All the pain and catastrophe in her life was erased from her mind, and all she could think about was starting fresh in a new place with the one person she cared for the most in her life.
After spending their wedding night together, they rose early to get hidden in the wagon. Seriah was still in a daze, she barely even knew where she was, and she most certainly didn't care. A smile was frozen on her face, and every time she looked at Rasmus she either sighed or started giggling. Rasmus thought it was utterly adorable, and as they lay in the smuggler's hole (which was very roomy), they chatted aimlessly like they did when they were first getting to know each other. Seriah realized now how long ago that actually was, and was shocked that the time went by so quickly.
After a long day of being jostled around the smuggler's hole, the driver opened the trap door at the top and murmured, "You can come out now, we're stopped for the night. Don't wander too far." Seriah and Rasmus climbed out of the smuggler's hole, and just as they were closing the door, suddenly a light filled the wagon and they realized with horror that they had just got caught.
The driver was standing behind them, and he shoved them towards the light. "These are the stowaways I was telling you about. The guy is four years older than the girl, and they just got married yesterday morning."
Seriah looked back at him with a shocked expression, and her eyes wide with fear. One of the soldiers threw a bag at the driver, and when he caught it the bag jingled with coins hitting one another.
Rasmus' was thinking at lightning speed, trying to think of a way to escape. He realized imediately that there was no hope of them both getting out alive. So he slowly took out his pocket knife, and murmured to Seriah, "When I cut the canvas, you jump out and start running."
Seriah's eyes widened and she murmured back with desperation in her voice, "What about you? Will you follow me?"
Rasmus nodded, and as the driver started to walk around them to talk to the soldiers, he dived for the canvas and sliced a huge hole in it. Seriah dived through it, but heard the soldiers open fire just as she landed. She looked back, and saw Rasmus had been shot. She screamed, but Rasmus ran towards her with only a slight change in pace. "Hurry, we might still make it!" Seriah and him dashed into the nearby forest, and tried desperately to find somewhere to hide.