06 - Jesse's Wedding - Chapter 6 - By: Rita Caywood
Webmistress's Drawing of a Sculpture.  Artist Unknown.
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Jesse's Wedding



Chapter 6


“Where are we?” Tiarna asked Jesse as she took in her new surroundings. She realized they were standing in a small chamber, barren except for a small table and chair which was presently occupied by her father, with young Tieg standing next to him with his head bowed, deep in concentration, probably working his healing magic. Torches set in the wall illuminated the chamber and as she looked around, she noticed the other people in the small chamber--two priests and two women.

Before he could respond, the younger, dark-haired woman launched herself at Jesse and hugging him tightly, announced, “Oh, Jesse, thank the Lord you’re back!” Jesse wrapped his arms around the young woman and grinned at the enthusiastic welcome. “Seanna, Madonna! Light of my life! I’m thrilled to see you too. Of course, I came back as soon as I could!” he exclaimed, as he placed a light kiss on top of her head and quietly disengaged from the vigorous hug as he stepped away from the portal square.

Tiarna stood rooted to the spot, shocked at Jesse’s sudden abandonment and unfamiliarity with her surroundings. All sorts of alien thoughts and feelings warred within her with the trust she had started to gain for him. In the last couple of days of traveling together, Tiarna had started to have decidedly un-brotherly feelings for Jesse and it had seemed to her that he reciprocated those feelings. Now, jealousy raged a fierce battle within her at the familiar way this other woman was holding him. She was unused to these strange feelings battling with her normally secure and confident self.

Almost as if he’d guessed her feelings, Jesse turned around and still holding Seanna, extended a hand to Tiarna. She reluctantly took it and let him help her off the portal square as he introduced her to Seanna.

“Seanna, this is Tiarna MacMurray, oldest daughter of Murray, Captain O’ the Guards at Lochalyn. Tiarna, this is my youngest sister, Seanna.” he grinned, as he playfully ruffled Seanna’s hair. Tiarna tried to contain the joy she felt at the revelation of Seanna’s identity, but failed miserably. She tried to rescue the situation by smiling broadly at both Seanna and Jesse and exchanging pleasantries, but Seanna was not fooled. She planned on asking her brother about what had really occurred the past few days after they got back home.

Meanwhile, Joram who had joined Tieg had taken his report on the events of the past few days and passed on his perceptions of Gregory’s illness and Queron’s suggested prescriptions. The decision was made to have Jesse, Seanna and Tieg to depart immediately for Trevalga. Fiona had already arranged quarters for their two unexpected guests and Queron was already in the chapel reinforcing Tieg’s preservation spell on the Frederick’s body.

Jesse looked up as he heard Joram and Tieg approach. He responded to Joram’s mental query of Are you ready? with a nod and turning to Tiarna, explained, “I had better get going to Trevalga. Fiona and Joram will take good care of you. Tieg and I should be back in a few days, but if things are worse than Queron suspects, then I will let Joram know and he and Ansel will work out some way for you to have an escort back to Eastmarch.” Tiarna nodded, albeit a bit more somber than she was just a few moments ago. Sensing her mood change, Jesse added, “Don’t worry. I’m sure my father will be fine. He’s had these sorts of episodes before.” With that, he took Seanna’s hand and stepped back onto the portal square and flashing a last reassuring smile to Tiarna, was suddenly elsewhere.

After a moment, Tiarna felt a hand touch her arm and noticed the other woman in the room gently smiling at her. “You must be exhausted from all that has happened in the past few days. Why don’t you let me show you and your father to your room.” Tiarna glanced over to where her father was still sitting and at his nod and smile, she nodded too. “Would it be possible for me tae see m’brother first?”

Fiona shot a quick glance at Joram before replying. “Of course. He’s laid out in the Sanctuary Chapel, although I hope you’re not planning on staying with him on an all night vigil. I really think you should get some rest.”

The concern expressed in Fiona’s voice, was almost Tiarna’s undoing. She had to call upon the last bit of family pride still dwelling within her to ensure she didn’t collapse into tears as she thought about her brother. She sighed heavily and allowed herself a small smile as she shook her head, “Nae, much as I’d like tae stay wi’ muin brathair, I cannae. His soul is wi’ Our Lord now and although his body is still here, there is nothing I can say or do tha’ will bring him back tae us.”

Fiona smiled back and nodding, led father and daughter to the Chapel where Queron, who had just finished reinforcing the preservation of the body, was kneeling beside it and signing the cross over the young man’s chest. Hearing the approaching footsteps, he looked up to see the old man staring at his son’s body with unrestrained grief.

Queron brushed back the tears from his own eyes and sighed. “My lord, I have reinforced the preservation that Tieg set right after death. It will keep the body in its present condition until you have a chance to properly bury him at Lochalyn.” Queron said as he raised himself up and laid a comforting hand on Murray’s arm. Quietly motioning to Fiona to follow him, he moved aside so father and sister could grieve in peace.

Not having to restrain herself anymore, Tiarna finally broke down and cried until there were no more tears left for her to shed. Her father was still sobbing silently when she eventually slid a glance towards him. It hit her then, just how brave her father was. It must have been devastating to see his oldest son taken away from him just as he had seen the fulfillment of his life’s dream--to see his son knighted. At that moment Tiarna gained a newfound respect and awe for her parents. They had sacrificed so much to make sure all their children had a chance for a decent life. She wondered now, if she was being foolish thinking that she could have a life with an Earl’s son.

After a while, she felt Fiona’s hand on her shoulder. She could sense the sympathy emanating. She nodded as she reached back to grasp the other woman’s hand and slowly got up. Turning towards Fiona, she whispered, “D’ya think it’ll be alright if m’ Da stays here a while longer?” Fiona nodded as she led Tiarna out of the chapel. “Dom Queron will stay and make sure he gets to his room before he tires himself out too much. I think your father needs some time alone with your brother to work out his own grief.”





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