Dredrick, Champlaine and the three lovers have found a room where they can
private. Dredrick is trying hard to be polite, and to keep his gaze fixed
on the face
of the young woman - Annafrid,
she'd said her name was. It isn't easy, as there seems to be some unseen
trying to drag his gaze downwards all the time. His adopted daughter,
Joan, is busty
enough, but this girl is even more so. Three of his daughters-in-law -
Astras 3, 4
and 6 - are perhaps larger still, but only marginally, and then only as
of magic.  (The Astras had originally expected their "enlargement"
to be temporary.
Probe had introduced them to the concept of the bra, and their husbands
had confessed that
they liked them as they were, they had decided not to undo the change.)
He and Champlaine had always assumed that their 'son' Jarlath would marry Astra 9. The two were obviously made for each other, and anyway it seemed to be a law of nature that D'Honaires would marry Thessamars. It also made sense for a Champion to marry another Champion, for to marry a mortal would mean seeing your spouse age and die whilst you remained forever young, something that would be very hard for both parties. Now here was Jarlath saying that he wanted to marry Astra 9 and this other girl, who though she seemed a very nice girl claimed not to be able to remember her past life. Apparently she had become a Champion too, though.
"Well," Dredrick sighs at last, "it's certainly very unconventional, but it's not actually illegal, and if all three of you are happy with the arrangement then who are we to interfere. You're old enough to know your own mind, Jarlath. But have you spoken to Astra's 'mother' about this yet? As Astra lacks a father, shouldn't you be asking Anina's permission?" Before Jarlath can reply, Astra 9 says: "You must remember, sir, that Aqualaria has traditionally been a matriarchal society, and we do such things in reverse compared with Allaria. The prospective bride is supposed to ask the man's mother for his hand. I know that under Allarian customs I am not obliged to do this, but I would feel much happier if I did. So, Lady Champlaine, please may I have Jarlath's hand in marriage?"
12/3/2000 1:50:50 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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