White Wyrms Chapter 12: Two are involved
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Remtani entered the barroom, muttering to himself. Ann watched as he looked over the selection of drinks twice.
“The good stuff is down below,” she told him.
He glanced at her.
“The servants always tuck a few good bottles down in the cabinet. Don’t ask me why.”
“It’s a holdover from when Kith was drinking. The hope was he wouldn’t drink as much if it didn’t taste as good,” Remtani explained as he looked through the cabinet. He pulled out a bottle of vodka.
“What’s bothering you tonight?” Ann asked. She knew Remtani didn’t usually drink.
He sat down with the bottle and poured himself a glass. “Mom.”
“She and Jaidu were talking about me wearing a velvet robe for the wedding.”
“So, it’s the third time they’ve changed what I was wearing.”
“What do you want to wear?”
“I’m most comfortable in uniform. I had thought about wearing my dress uniform, but Jaidu doesn’t like it. I was looking at this silk and velvet tunic. I thought it would look nice with her dress.”
“Jaidu doesn’t like it?”
She hasn’t seen it. She and Mom already picked out something for me.”
He sighed. “How did you get Mom to be so cooperative for you?”
“Well, first I ran away for seven years, then I disappeared for two, then I almost died.”
“I don’t think I have time for all of that. The wedding is less than a month away.”
“Where’s this tunic?”
“It’s just a design sample.”
“Get it. Then you need to talk with Mom and Jaidu. It’s your wedding too. There were times Mom got carried away with my wedding too. She started planning it while we were still up north dealing with Lyra. Andy or I had to stand up to her a few times.”
“But it’s Mom,” Remtani protested.
“Rem, you’re going to be king. There will be times nobles will try to tell you what to do. How will you deal with them if you can’t handle your own mother?”
“I just don’t want to disappoint Jaidu.”
“You still need to talk to her.”
“But nothing. Come on.”
“To find her. You two need to talk. Let’s get that sample.” Ann left without waiting to see if he followed. He did. She was right. He couldn’t let anyone push him around.
A short time later, they found Jaidu in the library, reading.
“Aunt Jaidu, Remmy needs to talk with you.”
“About what?” Jaidu looked up.
Ann looked to Remtani. She wasn’t going to give him a chance to back down. He sighed. “I feel like you’re forgetting there are two people involved with our wedding and neither is my mom.”
Jaidu frowned. “What are you talking about?”
“You told me I had to be involved with the wedding plans but you haven’t asked my opinion yet.”
“I have too.”
“No, you tell me what we’re doing. You decided who would officiate. You picked out the menu, where we’d have the ceremony and the banquet. You picked out my outfit and changed it three times. I hate that robe.”
“Oh, Remmy, I’m sorry. Most of the decisions have been your mother’s doing. She made it sound like you wanted these things. I thought she’d talked to you.”
“I’m okay with most of them. I’d just like to be asked first. But that robe is awful.”
“I don’t like that either.”
“I’d rather wear this.” He showed her the sample.
She smiled. “Oh, I like that. Really, I do.”
“Yes. It’s gorgeous. And it will go perfectly with my dress.”
“Then I’ll talk with the tailor in the morning.”
“I’m sorry. I wanted this to be special for us, but I’m doing the opposite.”
Remtani pulled her close. “It’s okay. Mom gets crazy sometimes. I want you to be happy too.”
“I’m happy we’re finally getting married like we were supposed to five years ago.”
“You were too young and I was still dealing with what I’d done. There was no way we’d make a marriage work.”
“I know. But I’m an adult now. And the spell’s been removed. Both Ann and Sapphire have forgiven you. We’re ready to get married.”
Remtani smiled. It had been a long hard recovery, not just earning her trust, but learning to trust himself, and moving past the feeling of violation that someone had controlled him so completely. “As soon as we get this wedding planned.”
She kissed him. “Let’s elope. Make tonight our wedding night.”
It was tempting. Jaidu was half-dragon. They usually didn’t have weddings. They married by mating. And the mating bond urged him to complete it. But he’d resisted the spell that made him hurt Ann and her friends, even when he’d thought it was madness. He could resist this too.
“I wanted to elope weeks ago. You said no. Besides, Mishtali would kill me.”
Ann waited until her brother told Jaidu what was bothering him. When she heard that her mother had been manipulating Jaidu, she slipped off.
She found her mother doing paperwork in her parents’ study. “Mom, you’re doing it again.”
“Of course I am. I’m always doing something. What am I doing now?”
“You’re taking over Remmy and Jaidu’s wedding.”
Tylan frowned. “I am not. I made a few suggestions.”
“And you made Jaidu think Remmy wanted them when he didn’t know anything about them.”
“I did? Shades. I didn’t mean it like that. I just know Remmy well enough to know what he’d like given the choices.”
“A velvet robe?”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“He hates robes. Only Bacna likes them because he can use them to hide his leg brace.”
“Rem used to.”
“Yeah, when he was five. We all used to. We could use them as dragon wings. Of course, we also liked cloaks, towels, and blankets.
“He has an outfit that he likes. He’s talking with Jaidu about it, but he’ll probably wear that.”
Tylan frowned. “Okay.”
“Mom, he’s not like me. He cares about how he looks. He’s a peacock, remember?”
Tylan smiled. “He is, isn’t he? Where did I go wrong with you?”
Ann shrugged. “I’m in a dress, aren’t I? Growing up it was easier to get away from Remmy and Bacna in trousers. Besides, I’m a freak. I didn’t want people looking at me. All they did was point and whisper. If I dressed down, they overlooked me like they did the servants.”
Ann was referring to her coloring. She was pale enough, that she could pass for an albino, and many people mistook her for one. She wasn’t though. It was a result of her being a white wyrm. Her uncle, Tercala, had similar coloring.
“You’re not a freak. You’re rather pretty.”
“No one thought so back then. Kith was the first person to say I was.”
“I know. I’m sorry you had so many problems.”
“I know. And I know you did what you could to help me. You were the first person to save my life.”
“I don’t know. Thorgrey did most of it.”
“Mom, you helped.”
“And just like you helped then, but didn’t do it all, help Remmy and Jaidu plan their wedding, but don’t do it for them.”
Tylan frowned. “You really know how to manipulate a conversation.”
Ann smiled. “It’s my job. I’m an ambassador.”
“I’ll apologize in the morning and we can go over everything.”
“Just remember, King Kamlia’s coming soon, so you need to be ready then. The dragons aren’t going to put up with him for long.”
“I know. Neither will I. We’ll get everything straightened out.” Tylan assured her.
“Thank you, Mother.”