Instead of yanking my brain out of the murderous killing and dismemberment of my zombies to write something heartfelt and romantic, I thought I'd throw you a teaser scene from Choice. Enjoy.
Alma se Funden
I felt beautiful. The scarlet dress molded to my body to perfection, swaying with each step I took toward Raif. My auburn hair was held away from my face in a series of intricate braids and knots, leaving most of it flowing down my back. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect day than today, and wouldn’t ruin it with thoughts of what would happen later. I was binding with my soul mate, and nothing could compare to this moment.
I rounded the corner behind Cleito and saw the clearing. There was a circle enclosed by Orichalcum stones in front of a forest, leading further into the mountains. Cleito explained that this was the same location that she and Poseidon had their Hand-Fasting, as well as where the curse occurred.
It was beautiful, as was the man waiting for me. He was covered head to toe in black and looked amazing. His eyes shone with such love at me, I thought my heart would burst right then.
He took my hand and the ceremony began. Cleito and Michael stood with us as our witnesses and Atreyu performed the rights, as was his duty as the High Priest of Poseidon. He rang a small silver bell three times, signifying us to walk around the circle. We did, then entered, and stood facing each other in front of an altar. Atreyu prompted us to state our intent and Raif started.
“I, Raifuku Iaochra have come of my own free will, in perfect love and perfect trust to bind myself completely from now until the end of days to my Alma Xemelga, Natasha.”
“I, Natasha James have come of my own free will, in perfect love and perfect trust to bind myself completely from now until the end of days to my Soul Mate, Raifuku.” I was so overjoyed; I barely noticed the twin tears sliding down my face or the misty rain that started to fall. Atreyu rang the bell.
We exchanged rings, to symbolize our commitment to each other to the outside world. The palms on our left hands were cut, the blood dripping into a chalice that was half-filled with wine. Our hands were then bound together, mixing our blood. I was slightly unnerved by this, but tried to remember that it was part of their culture. We used our right hands to drink from the chalice, symbolizing the need for balance between being together and apart as well as infusing our bodies further with the essence of each other.
Our right hands were then placed over our left ones and tied tightly together. We repeated our intent to be bound for the rest of eternity. After which Atreyu rang the bell.
We sealed our intent with a kiss. The knot was undone and we each cut a lock of hair from the other and placed it into a silver box. As we buried the box at the foot of the altar we repeated our intent to be bound again. Atreyu rang the bell a third time.
“Thrice called, thrice answered, the souls are now combined. In perfect love and perfect trust they remain until the end of time. So mote it be.” Atreyu rang the bell three more times and a hush fell over us.
The birds stopped singing; it was as if the entire universe was holding its collective breath at this moment. We walked around the circle again, the opposite way, sealing our vows with a kiss as we ended. The ground rumbled beneath us, and the wildlife exploded into song. All was right with the world. We’d completed the first Alma se Funden in Atlantis in over eleven thousand years.
And now a few words for the couple:
Anna and Michael, today is the day when you celebrate your love for one another with those nearest and dearest to you, but it's what happens after this celebration that makes the marriage. Hold tightly to each other and remember why you came together as a couple, never losing sight of your love, even when it seems like everything around you is tearing it apart. I wish you all the best. ~Jean