Part 62: link
Arthur looks at his watch. His new watch. Three fifty four.
He smiles at the gift, but frowns at the time. Tapping his foot, he fidgets and looks around. The sky, which had been blue and sunny all day, is clouding up. Don’t rain, don’t rain. At least not until after and we’re all inside.
When he looks at his watch again, Merlin pokes him. “Arthur. Settle down,” he whispers.
He grabs Merlin’s arm and looks at his watch. He drops it with a humph.
“Is time slowing down?”
“No, Arthur, it’s not,” Merlin laughs. The reverend comes over just then, misinterpreting Arthur’s behavior for nerves.
“Nervous, Arthur?” he asks quietly.
“Hmm? No, Reverend, not nervous. Anxious. Overly excited.” He glances at the sky again, hopping lightly from one foot to the other.
“Oh, that’s good,” Father Geoffrey says. “I didn’t think you’d be nervous.” He smiles at Arthur and walks back to his place.
“It won’t rain, Arthur,” Merlin says reassuringly.
Uther chuckles, watching his son. Helena, seated beside him, leans over and says, “Arthur looks very handsome.”
“He looks like he’s about to jump out of his skin,” he laughs. “But yes, they all look quite dashing.”
“I’m glad they went with charcoal. Black স্যুইটস্ are so… somber,” she says, noting the subtle stripe of the men’s waistcoats and the lavender cravats. “Lavender must be Gwen’s পছন্দ color,” she observes.
“Mmm,” Uther nods. He turns and looks back towards the house, watching for any sign of movement.
“Merlin,” Elliot whispers out of the corner of his mouth. Merlin turns.
Elliot is standing facing him. “Can আপনি see… is Elizabeth still giving me the eye?”
Merlin moves closer to Elliot, pretending to adjust his pocket square. He peeks out into the crowd.
“Mate, she’s looking at আপনি like she wants to have আপনি for dinner.”
Elliot’s eyes open wide. “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” he admits.
“What’s wrong? Don’t আপনি like her?”
“Yes, I do. A lot.”
“So what’s the problem?”
“She scares me.”
Merlin stares. “What? You?”
“I’m just… um, not used to… aggressive women,” he admits.
Merlin chokes back a laugh, but recovers quickly, clearing his throat. Just then Autumn walks up, nods at Reverend Geoffrey, and sits at the far end of the সেকেন্ড row.
“We’ll talk about this later. It’s starting,” Merlin whispers to Elliot and they resume their places.
He reaches out and squeezes Arthur’s shoulder reassuringly.
“It’s about time,” Arthur mutters back over his shoulder. Four মিনিট after four. It may as well be forty মিনিট past.
Father Geoffrey nods at Patrick, a young man sitting at a portable পিয়ানো keyboard on a platform. He begins to play. Liebestraum
Freya appears first, lovely and sweet in her lavender gown. It is long and simple, with a velvet মোড়ানো in a shade darker around her shoulders for warmth in the autumn chill. She is holding a bouquet of purple Peruvian lilies and sprigs of lavender, flanked with baby’s breath and trailing ivy. She is wearing a simple amethyst pendant, a gift from Gwen, and her hair is up.
Merlin is transfixed, watching her approach. Dear God she looks amazing,
he thinks. She smiles warmly at him as she takes her place. Neither of them notice that Helena is beaming hopefully at her son gazing at his beloved.
Next is Morgana, in a গাউন, gown of similar নকশা to Freya’s, but in ivory. It also has a matching velvet wrap. Normally beautiful, she looks stunning; her fair skin complemented দ্বারা the ivory dress and her upswept dark hair a stark contrast to all the white. She has a similar নেকলেস to Freya’s and is carrying an identical bouquet.
Wayne stares as she passes. He has never seen her looking আরো beautiful, and he realizes that his jaw has dropped open when she catches his eye and winks at him. I think I’m in love,
he realizes, surprised. But even আরো surprising is the fact that he is happy about this realization.
The সঙ্গীত changes. Träumerei
দ্বারা Robert Schumann.
“Please stand,” the reverend commands, and everyone does, turning their heads to the back, waiting.
As Guinevere appears on her father’s arm, the sun pokes through the clouds as if God has heard Arthur’s prayer and has obliged দ্বারা shining the sun warmly down upon the radiant bride.
Time stops for Arthur. As she walks forward, her eyes lock onto him, and he feels helpless in her presence. She is breathtaking in a গাউন, gown of a shimmery white, almost as if it is shot through with silver. The scooped neckline is wide, exposing a fair amount of her beautiful shoulders, and the sleeves are long. I’m going to have to stop myself from touching that skin once she’s up here,
he finds himself thinking.
She’s halfway down the aisle, and she doesn’t even notice the cameras and smiles and appreciative whispers; all she sees is Arthur.
His eyes rove over her further as she approaches. A fitted কঁচুলী accentuating her narrow waist leads down to her hips, where a স্বর্ণ sash is draped and knotted loosely but elegantly in the back, its tails trailing down atop the train of her skirt. The ends of the sash are embroidered with red filigree. That’s different. I like it,
he smiles. She has her mother’s tiara on her head from which the veil extends, draping down over her hair, which Morgana has artfully arranged around it. It is mostly up, with a few tendrils strategically left loose to trail tantalizingly on her neck. Her bouquet is larger than the others, and it also includes some red ফুলেরসাজি sprinkled in.
They reach the front, and Arthur realizes he hasn’t taken a breath since he laid eyes on her. He inhales deeply, and Gwen stifles a giggle.
Tom gazes at his only daughter, his first born, when they reach the front. And so here we are,
he thinks. “You look so beautiful, Guinevere,” he whispers to her, turning to her.
“You ব্যক্ত that already, Daddy,” she smiles and replies.
“I know. I can’t help it.” He gives her a hug and kisses her cheek, then places her hand in Arthur’s. He claps Arthur on the shoulder warmly, turns to Gwen, says, “I প্রণয় you,” before retreating to his আসন beside Robert, across the aisle from Uther and Helena.
“She’s gorgeous, Tom. And so happy, আপনি can see that,” Robert whispers to Tom.
Arthur looks at her. “You look amazingly beautiful,” he whispers.
“So do you,” she whispers back.
“You may be seated,” Reverend Geoffrey announces. He continues:
“Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony…”
Morgana watches, not really listening to the vicar’s words. She is watching Arthur. The way he looks at her. Adoring her. She is his world. And I know she feels the same way.
She sneaks a peek out at Wayne. He isn’t looking at Arthur and Gwen; he’s watching her. Is he looking at me the same way?
A hymn snaps her out of her reverie, and she tries to pay attention. Arthur and Gwen are clearly not paying attention either, as they are completely হারিয়ে গেছে in each other, holding each other’s hands. Arthur strokes the back of her hands with his thumbs a few times. That still sends chills through me.
Gwen smiles shyly at him.
The reverend speaks again, asking if there are any among them who object. Vivian and Lance aren’t here, so…
Gwen thinks, biting back a smirk.
Geoffrey looks to the crowd, truly expecting no response. The wind blows, and a few leaves drift down around them. Guinevere shivers slightly, as the sun has once again disappeared.
There are no objections, and he continues. “We will now have a moment of silent prayer. Please take a few moments to lift your thoughts to God.”
He gives everyone a minute, then resumes. “O God, আপনি have so consecrated the covenant of marriage…” He reminds me of how I was at our wedding,
Uther allows himself to think. He remembers that day. It was warm, almost hot. Yvette looked stunning, ethereal. I was so young and full of life and ambition. I loved her so much…
Vaguely he is aware of Helena offering him a tissue. She doesn’t look his way, doesn’t call attention to what she has noticed. He takes the tissue and silently thanks her for her discretion.
“Amen,” he finds himself echoing the reverend with the rest of the guests.
As Leon walks অগ্রবর্তী to offer a reading, the wind picks up again and a few আরো leaves blow. Arthur begins to worry that Guinevere will get cold and glances skyward again, sighing. Gwen notices his worry and smiles reassuringly at him, squeezing his hands in hers.
“…Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
” Leon concludes, and returns to sit beside his wife, pulling their son into his lap.
“Thank you, Leon,” the vicar says. He then turns his attention back to the couple.
“Guinevere, will আপনি have this man to be your husband; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will আপনি প্রণয় him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, and be faithful to him as long as আপনি both shall live?
“Arthur, will আপনি have this woman to be your wife; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will আপনি প্রণয় her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, and be faithful to her as long as আপনি both shall live?
Geoffrey turns to the congregation and asks, “Will all of আপনি witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?”
“Let us pray.” Another prayer?
Elliot is getting antsy. He loves his sister dearly, and knows Arthur is a great guy, but he isn’t used to standing still for this long. He fidgets slightly, until he notices his father giving him a glare. He resumes standing still, clenching his jaw in defeat.
“Arthur, take her right hand and repeat after me.”
He does so and repeats the words: “In the Name of God, I, Arthur, take you, Guinevere to be my wife, to have and to hold from this দিন forward, for better অথবা for worse, for richer অথবা for poorer, in sickness and in health, to প্রণয় and to cherish, until we are parted দ্বারা death. This is my solemn vow.”
He releases her hand. “Guinevere, take his right hand in yours and repeat after me.”
“In the Name of God, I, Guinevere, take you, Arthur, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this দিন forward, for better অথবা for worse, for richer অথবা for poorer, in sickness and in health, to প্রণয় and to cherish, until we are parted দ্বারা death. This is my solemn vow.”
She reluctantly releases his hand as the reverend turns to Merlin. “The rings?”
Merlin produces them from his pocket and hands them to the vicar. Arthur tries to catch a glimpse, because he hasn’t seen his yet, but the vicar and the best man are too crafty and swift.
“Bless, O Lord, these rings to be a sign of the vows দ্বারা which this man and this woman have bound themselves to each other; through যীশু Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Geoffrey hands Gwen’s ring to Arthur, and she raises her left hand.
“Guinevere, I give আপনি this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you, in the Name of God.”
He slides it on her finger, and she sneaks a peek. He took my ring and made it a set,
she thinks, overjoyed, noting that the diamond engagement ring has been soldered to an additional ring, wrapped about it very attractively, as if it was designed that way. Promising herself a আরো careful inspection later, she reaches for Arthur’s proffered band.
“Arthur, I give আপনি this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you, in the Name of God.”
Arthur inspects his ring as well. It is a simple band of brushed platinum nestled atop a wider band of shiny gold. It’s brilliant. She really knows my taste,
he thinks, impressed. He loves it.
“When you’re ready…” Reverend Geoffrey says quietly to them, ready to continue.
“Oh. Sorry,” Arthur grins.
“Now that Guinevere and Arthur have প্রদত্ত themselves to each other দ্বারা solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of rings, I pronounce that they are husband and wife, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.” I have never seen her looking so happy. He looks as though he is bursting with joy.
“Elana?” Geoffrey calls Elana forward.
She reads. “Love is patient and kind; প্রণয় does not envy অথবা boast; it is not arrogant অথবা rude…
Merlin sneaks a look at Freya, trying to catch her eye while Elana reads. She finally looks up at him through her lashes, flirting just a little. She presses her lips together and her thoughts betray her to Merlin. She’s thinking about us. The possibility of our wedding,
he realizes. His হৃদয় quickens at the thought of it, and he cannot help but rearrange the players in today’s wedding in his mind. He meets her eyes and wills them to tell her that he loves her.
Her lips part as she gasps just slightly, a half smile playing about her lips. Message received.
Elana returns to her seat, and Arthur and Gwen kneel before the টেবিল in front as the reverend prays over them, seeking God’s blessing over them. Arthur reaches over and takes Gwen’s hand. It is like ice.
The Lord’s Prayer is said, and Arthur and Gwen stand again and face each other, holding each other’s hands once again.
“God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy spirit, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with His favor look upon you, and fill আপনি with all spiritual benediction and grace; that আপনি may faithfully live together in this life, and in the age to come have life everlasting. Amen.”
He then nods at Patrick, and he starts to play again. Autumn is now seated beside him at the keyboard as he plays the opening bars of “All I Ask of You” from The Phantom of the Opera.
As he sings the first part of the duet, Arthur and Gwen, accompanied দ্বারা Merlin and Morgana, step অগ্রবর্তী to sign the register to legally complete the marriage. As Guinevere signs her name, Arthur notices her hand is trembling slightly. Surely she can’t be nervous,
he thinks, then he remembers seeing her shivering earlier and recalls her cold hands.
Wayne rolls his eyes dramatically at the singing. Paul elbows him, whispering, “Shut it. I like this so—” he stops mid-word when Autumn begins her verse, and his eyes fly to her, rapt. Her rich mezzo-soprano voice, surprisingly powerful from her slender frame, washes over him and he is mesmerized. Wayne looks at him, and says, “Uh-oh,” and pokes Leon. He looks and just smiles. Paul remains entranced, watching Autumn in her turquoise dress, her thick shiny বাদামী hair loose around her shoulders, letting her voice pour over him like warm honey.
Arthur and Gwen finish their paperwork, and return to their original places. Autumn and Patrick are still singing, halfway done. Arthur sneaks a peek at the vicar, and unbuttons his coat. Both the reverend and Gwen give him a puzzled look as he removes his jacket. He holds it out to Gwen, and she slides her arms into his sleeves with a giggle. Geoffrey smiles and nods at Arthur. No harm done.
The song finishes, and Reverend Geoffrey turns to the congregation. “It is my very great honor to be the first to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Pendragon. আপনি may চুম্বন the bride, Arthur.”
With those words, Arthur pulls Gwen into his arms and kisses her, pouring all the প্রণয় he feels for her into the চুম্বন while striving to keep it appropriate for a wedding. It is walking a tightrope, and Gwen helps out দ্বারা keeping her lips firmly together, much as she wants to part them for him. He reluctantly pulls away just before the চুম্বন goes on too long. He whispers, “I প্রণয় you,” and takes her hand as Morgana hands Gwen her bouquet.
The vicar again nods at Patrick, who begins Ode to Joy
দ্বারা Beethoven as the newly-married couple recess up the aisle and back into the parlor.
Part 64: link