LN Part 51: A Toast by RedPhantom ()
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Pt’this stood and cleared his throat. He waited a moment until he had everyone’s attention.
“Seven years ago, a scared, young girl stood cowering before King Emeton’s throne as her friend argued with and yelled at the king in a way few would dare and fewer yet would survive. Fortunately, the king’s daughter was one of those few.
“I saw this girl occasionally over the years, and soon I realized she wasn’t a girl anymore. She’d grown into a beautiful woman with a tenderness I’ve never seen in my 800 years. This tenderness is coupled with a fierceness you would have to experience to believe. I’ve had the opportunity to be the recipient of both. She’s kept me sane when grief and madness have threatened to overtake me. She’s been my anchor and my lifeline more times than she knows.
“I’ve been called many things in my life: brother, son, uncle, apprentice, mate, peacock, human, and several that aren’t repeatable in polite company but, this is the first time in eight hundred years I’ve had the privilege of being called husband. It is an honor, and I couldn’t be more proud to be called Sapphire’s husband.”
Sapphire stood. He took her hands in his. She had drunk a little brandy with her meal, so that helped her nerves a small amount. She looked into his eyes, and he saw mirrored there all the love he felt for her. He used a little magic to help amplify her voice.
“I can’t remember much of the first time we met. Watching the princess and her father fight isn’t something you want to remember, especially when you’re the subject of that fight. I do remember learning Pt’this was the uncle of a good friend, and later learning he was the uncle of two of my friends.
“He too has been my anchor, a friend even when he didn’t realize it. Life seems to have conspired to keep us apart, but our friends have brought us together. I have shared his pain and joy for years and look forward to many more years to come.” She let go with one hand and picked up her glass. “Peahen, mate, wife, call me what you will as long as I’m with my Pt’this.”
Andy stood, more than a little nervous. He had never been good with public speaking. He didn’t feel the toast he had prepared would compare to the two he had just heard. He decided it didn’t matter. This was about Ann. She was what was important.
“I was in such a dark point in my life when I met Ann, I swear she glowed the first time I saw her. She soon became my light, my guide from that place to a place of light and joy.
“She has become my heart. There has always been something missing in my life. I found that something two years ago when I found my heart beating in this woman’s chest.”
He set down his glass and took a ring from his pocket.
“In my land, the never-ending circle of a ring symbolizes never-ending love and is given at weddings. Ann, my love, I give you this ring as a promise that we will be together for a lifetime.” He slipped the ring on her finger and picked up his glass.
Ann stood. Andy resisted joking about her needing to stand. She was sensitive about being only five feet tall. Holding his free hand, she smiled.
“We’ve all had darkness in our lives. When we met, Andy saw through his pain to mine. He worked to help me through it despite his own. He helped me to see I’m not alone. I may have had shouting matches with my father that got me banned from the throne room. My sire may have refused to claim me. I may have lost loved ones, but I’m not alone. I am loved, by friends, by family, and by him. He has given me the will and the purpose to live. And as long as it is in my power, this heart we share will keep beating.”
She set down her glass and reached into a pocket in her dress. She smiled slyly as she pulled out a ring to match the one Andy had just given her. He didn’t know she had that.
“Our love is a circle that will continue throughout both our lifetimes,” she said as she put the ring on his hand. She raised her glass to indicate the end of the toast. The guests raised their glasses and drank. However, the two couples gave sips from their own glasses to their spouses. Andy struggled not to make a face as he tasted Ann’s whiskey. He saw she was having the same difficulty and wondered what was in his glass. He had assumed it was wine. He took a sip and found it was cherry juice. He hadn’t had that in ages.
“I thought that was wine,” Ann whispered to him.
“So did I,” Andy said.
“That stuff is nasty.” She then did make a face.
“And your whiskey is great?” They had joked about this before.
Image Comments (4)
ikke.evc () 8:16AM | Sat, 13 July 2019
There are good whiskeys. Great story and illustration. Well done, RP!
RedPhantom () Online Now! 10:18AM | Sat, 13 July 2019
There are good ones. Andy just doesn't care for it. Thanks