Ava & Athanasios are wed, and their promise is witnessed.
The piper begins his awful racket as James and Archie confirmed he would when Ava was ready to walk down the aisle. The entire pack has turned up to see us wed, save the few guards that James insisted be on perimeter duty. Em said she would throw up a protective shield, aided by Ava’s direct family, so that everyone who wanted to, could attend. Some wanted to patrol and James did not force them. I glance up, unable to see it, but I can feel it. The floral arch that was built today, takes my attention. My focus turns to the back when Aeolus nudges me.
Ava is steadily walking towards me in a white dress with gold banding that pinches in her waist. She is always gorgeous and right now, more than I ever thought possible. My nose picks up the scent of the fauna fragrances she’s used, particularly the rosemary.
“Close your mouth,” Aeolus whispers to me and I snap it shut. It feels like an eternity before she’s standing by me, her father passing her hand across from his to mine.
As soon as we touch, the bond between us strengthens even more, sending sensations through us both, as if a night holding her was not enough; I know it never will be.
Very soon, we both utter the words; “I do,” to each other and I present her with the ring Anastasia has made from both of the rings. As I slide it onto her finger, the tears in her eyes confirm that I made the right choice. Our lips touch in the final act and all that is left to do now is celebrate with friends before I can fully claim what my heart already deems his.
I grab every chance I get to kiss my bride; on the dance floor for our first dance, at dinner, anywhere I can touch her even slightly, I do and I encourage her to do the same. The night is wearing on and we’re slow dancing, huddled into each other, her arms around my neck, mine around her waist. There’s a small commotion and we turn, instantly, I feel the tension rise in Ava.
“Vicky,” she hisses and then she smiles at me. “I need your help,” she says and begins walking to the scene her stepmother is creating.
As we near, we can hear Archie and Em telling Vicky to go away, that she’s not welcome. I see Alison hand Eunice to her father as power emanates from the other witch’s hands.
“Ava will let me in, won’t you Ava?”
“Into where?” My wife demands. “The dungeons? I can arrange that,” she grins and Vicky tries to cast a spell; something I notice Ava was more than ready for and my need for vengeance begins to rise. “I wouldn’t try that again if you want to live,” Ava warns and Vicky pales. I’ve never met the woman, but every shifter here can sense the hatred pouring off her.
Alison and Aonghus appear behind Vicky and the woman spins to find all three siblings, their father, their Aunt Em facing her, boxed in on five sides, six if I stand right next to my wife. Ava nods and the five of them chant verbally, and thanks to the bond Ava and I share, which is nearly solidified, I am able to pick up that they’re mind talking, much as shifters can.
“From this day forth
Your claim to us is denied.
From this day forth
Your claim to our land is denied.
From this day forth
Your claim on our lives is denied.
So mote it be.”
Their chant ends and Vicky looks ashen as she visibly shakes. “You’re not welcome here, Vicky,” Ava confirms, lifting her chin. “You have ten hours to vacate the house and leave it as it should be, or your life is forfeit,” Ava commands.
“You can’t…” Vicky stammers and Ava’s entity shifts as she steps forward to whisper something to her stepmother. In moments, Vicky is stalking away, almost running and my new wife is returned to her normal state. There’s a knowing look on Ava’s face and she receives a nod from Em.
“What just happened?” I ask as I pull her close, unsure of what I just saw.
“My mother wanted a word,” Ava tells me with a grin. I raise my eyebrows in response, which causes Ava to smirk at me even more. “Come, husband, let’s dance,” and she drags me back to the dance floor and the rest of her family follows.
For the rest of the night, I keep Ava close and when I receive a nod from James, I know everything is set up as I’ve asked for. This pack has a dedicated hut for newly married or bonded couples; a hut that’s been decorated for us tonight. Aeolus grins as I whisk Ava off down a torch-lit path to finally claim her as mine.
The path to the hut is bathed in warm torchlights and the hut itself is trapped in soft fairy lights. Ava gasps as she sees it and I stop walking, pulling her to me.
“Ava,” I breathe her name and she turns to me, then stops moving, even breathing. I lift her face up and I smile at her, then I kiss her, making her remember to feel. I can hear her heart beating faster as her eyes close. We haven’t even got to the hut yet and I can feel her nervous energy.
“Breathe, ómorfi,” I tell her and she does, a few times. “That’s better,” I smile at her and she returns the most nervous smile ever. “My wife,” I tell her. “My beautiful, feisty, dangerous wife,” I praise her, making her go pink in the cheeks. Slowly, as I talk, I guide her to the hut and when we’re at the door, I pick her up and carry her over the threshold of the first house we spent the night in.
The hut is decorated in white linen with a huge bed on one side, currently covered in rose petals, a sofa overlooking the huge window that overlooks the small paddock and forest beyond. The kitchen is equipped and as promised, Aeolus has stocked it with Greek food, as well as foods alien to me, but familiar to Ava.
I draw the curtains, enclosing us in, watching my new wife the whole time. Then, I beckon to Ava as I make my way to the bed and while she turns, she doesn’t move towards me as I ask.
“Ava?” I ask and she suddenly snaps to; again I wonder where she has gone inside that head of hers. Perhaps not even inside her head.
“Sorry, I’m…” she closes her eyes and I walk to her, wrapping an arm around her and cradle her head in my hand, pulling her to me. I don’t ask, not with words. I bend my head to kiss her, open her to me.
At first, she refuses and I bite her bottom lip, making her gasp and I begin to devour her. Her fingers dig into my arms, holding onto me, keeping me near her. The corset dress is undone from the front and I stop kissing to begin undoing it.
“Athanasios,” she whispers, the raspy voice telling me all I need to know.
“Shhh… it’s okay, I know,” I remind her, then I have the lace undone and she lets out a large gasp, even more when I undo the lace on the dress and begin to push it from her shoulders as I kiss her mouth, working my way around to her jaw, her ear, her neck. Her sighs are soft, breathless, encouraging. The dress falls to the floor gently as the fabric finally obeys the laws of nature. Standing before me is my blushing bride. Taking her hands, I guide her to undress me, giving her permission to touch, look, whatever she wants with me, as I will her. As she does, her confidence in our impending joining grows, it’s not long before we’re on the bed, claiming each other and as I passionately love her, the bond clicks into place as we reach the ultimate goal, together.