And I knew. I knew it could at least be true: My lady could be with child.
For I had witnessed their binding, late in the night…when he had called for her presence and his messenger presented her with a dress of magnificent white. Pearls painstakingly sewn in intricately swirled design swept across the bodice and down to the slight swell of her hips until the sheer fabric in hundreds of layers gave way to drape down her legs and lay upon the floor in a train seven feet behind her.
Candles lit the way down the stairs from her chambers and down the long hall. She paused, only for a moment, when they beckoned her with their flickering light to follow them outside the manor. She dutifully crossed the bridge and followed them still, even when they led her through the thick of the small town that had sprouted outside the Provider’s manor; the people, desperate for his protection from the shadows.
We walked for quite some time with the candles leading us, guiding us, revealing to her the path of light she must take. My arms ached from holding up her train bundled carefully in my arms, but never did it touch the dirt or mud on our journey.
“Will my love be there, waiting for me?” She asked me only once. Her hazel eyes shown bright, reflecting glints of light from the candles. She looked happy, and so while I thought it strange that she followed the trail he had left without question, I nodded.
At last, we reached the outer stretch of the village, to the meeting house of those who were both full of wisdom and knowledge. Some of them stood outside. Others had already made their place inside, standing in impatient wait for the proceedings.
And I saw my love.
And he saw me.
And we were bound.
Yavin slammed the book shut and the four listeners jumped in their seats. “It ends there.”
“But…I thought the maid was telling the story? So, who was married that night? Because clearly Aoife was in a dress made for the Binding.”
“But then, it says ‘I’. If it was the maid telling the story, wouldn’t she have been the one to be bound?”
“Ah, yes. Both of you, Edward and Pitney, are correct. At least in your confusion.” Yavin walked to a small stone and sat carefully upon it, smoothing his long robe underneath him. “Perhaps, if we take those questions and set them aside for just a moment…one might consider, or question, how it is the the Elder Roem came to be in possession of such an account in the first place.”