|Home > Jacquelyn Frank > Nightwalkers > Gideon (Page 41)|
|Gideon(Nightwalkers #2) by Jacquelyn Frank|
He never performed the yearly mass ceremony, but he was looking at his baby sister’s hand, wrapped in ribbons and tied to her mate’s; the hands of the Enforcers who had once been torn midceremony from each other; and the hands of Kane and Corrine, both adored family of the Enforcers, who had tolerated so much just for doing their duty for him. He owed these three couples so much, and his heart was bursting with his gratitude for being able to give them this lifelong bond.
There were four others being wed as well, and they solemnly bowed their heads at the honor of being joined by the great King of Demons. In the fire-flickered shadows stood Demons, Vampires, and Lycanthropes, all watching with avid interest.
Noah raised his hands high.
“You are all beloved of each other, beloved of your King, beloved of this generous world and all Her elements that She bestows on us. None of you shall ever know the discontentment of a lonely home or an empty heart ever again because you will be filled with all these sources of love.
“The ceremony of this night is the perpetuation of life and its circle. You will be the vessels of that continuation. You will be the keepers of the future. The witnesses at your backs hold you to this promise and you hold it to each other.
“This week, we have known great sadness and great losses. But it fades under the light of the fires that light your way tonight. Here, in her”—he gestured to Isabella and smiled—“here is our future. Bring them to me, all of you, as they come, and I will love them as I love you.
“Now, you are joined for all time.” Noah nodded and the witnesses released their friends and stepped away from the couples. “Turn, now, and touch your back to your mate’s. This is where they will be for all the rest of the days of their lives.”
Hands joined by ribbons raised into the air as the couples turned back to back.
A cheer went up from the crowd and the newly wedded couples laughed as they turned back to kiss their mates warmly.
Tradition now dictated that anyone could try and pull the couple apart. Whoever succeeded in separating them at their ribbons would be able to sit beside the couple as they feasted in celebration. The field became a tumble of laughing mates and contestants as males tried to remove males and females tried to remove females.
Jacob grabbed his newly healed bride and floated out of the reach of would-be renders, a cry of protest rising from below them. Gideon and Legna were left unmolested, Gideon’s imposing reputation having a quelling effect on the nerves of any who might have approached.
He was kissing his bride when he felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned and saw Damien arching a challenging brow at him. Legna laughed, delighted as Gideon gave the Prince a dirty look. Her humor lasted about two seconds. That was when Damien’s partner in crime tapped Legna’s shoulder.
Siena gave the bride a feline grin.
“Oh, you bitch,” Legna choked out, laughing in her shock at the excellent maneuver on the Queen’s part.
“Uh-uh,” the Queen scolded, her collar winking in the firelight. “That’s not very diplomatic of you, Ambassador.”
“You realize this means war,” Legna said archly.
“As if I would settle for anything less,” Siena returned.
Legna and Gideon sighed, looking at each other and rolling their eyes. Husband grabbed hold of wife by their joined arms and then they braced their feet. Legna felt slim, strong arms around her waist and shoulders, and Gideon was seized in a similar hold by the determined Damien.
“Darling?” Legna said.
The Vampire and Lycanthrope pulled, and immediately found themselves holding nothing but air.
They both fell over hard into the dirt, dazedly watching a pair of ribbons floating down to the ground.
“Oh look, they won,” Legna remarked from her and Gideon’s new position a few feet away.
“How about that,” Gideon mused. “See you both at dinner. Congratulations on your victory.”
The couple popped off to who knows where, leaving indignant but dubiously victorious royalty behind.