Meanings within meanings
Vendors were beginning to show up at Amber Hills and set up their
displays and wagons. It was the day before their large Gather was to
begin and Zathris's nerves were twisted into a tight ball in the pit
of his stomach. This had to go well, Zathris had so much riding on the
Gather, in the hopes of solidifying relationship between Weyr and Hold
and to make the people of Amber Hills feel more secure and connected
to their Lord and Lady.
For the next three days Zathris planned on being very visible to his
people, showing them that he and Benani were moving forward and were
quite capable of taking care of their needs and interests.
"I still can't believe Benamil's getting married. It just came out of
nowhere. I assumed he never would," Zathris said out loud, talking to
Benani as he buttoned his shirt.
"Yes well," she smiled to herself. "You never know when love will
strike. Nazli is a lovely girl. But, I can tell you I didn't see it
coming." That last part was very true and as much as she hated not
telling her husband the whole truth she knew his sense of fairness
would put him in a terrible position and she didn't want that.
"I'd like to give them a beautiful wedding at the gather. What do you think?"
"Of course," Zathris agreed, "he's of the Blood, and the last son of
Benaroy to marry so we'll have to send him off into marital bliss in
fashion." The Amber Hills Holder brought up each hand to button his
cuffs into place.
"Thank you," she smiled. "Is there anything else you need my help with?"
"Well, if you don't mind, I'd like you to walk through the grounds
with me to day, see if the set up of the vendors and events makes
sense." His wife had a better eye for entertaining than he did.
"I'd like that," she smiled up at him. "Where are you thinking of
setting them up?" She continued to get ready. She chose a warm dress
for walking. It wasn't really cold out just a nice little chill in the
air. More invigorating and she liked walking on that kind of day.
Zathris came over behind Benani to help button the back of her dress,
“Some of them are already setting up in the western field and workers
are assembling stands now near the race track.”
"That sounds like a good idea," she looked over her shoulder at him.
"Are we going to walk or ride?"
"Let's ride, I hadn't even thought of that." It would certainly made
things easier and it was something that they both enjoyed doing.
Zathris's fingers brushed against the smooth skin of his wife's back
as he finished the last button. "I look forward to helping you out of
this later, as well."
"Incorrigible," she grinned as she turned and put her arms around his
neck. "I'll be thinking about that the entire ride," she said.
The Lord Holder's face took on a youthful, boyish grin, a departure
from the worried or stressed looks he'd been wearing as of late. "And
I'll be thinking about you thinking about it the entire time."
She chuckled. "That's my nefarious plan," she said and took his arm. "Shall we?"
Zathris tucked his wife's hand into his arm and led her from their
private quarters in the family wing and out to the stables.
"There's the happily betrothed man now," Zathris said as his
brother-in-law came into view.
Benamil straightened from where he was inspecting a runner's hoof and
tipped his hat back with an easy-going grin, even though on the inside
he was instantly on alert. What did Zathris know? Had Benani told him
the real reason he was marrying Nazli? A glance in his sister's
direction told him to play it cool.
"Here I am," he replied. "What brings you two down?"
"We're going to ride over the gather grounds and race track area to
see the progress," she smiled. "Of course I've pretty much decided to
have the wedding in the gardens. They have told me the weather should
be beautiful for the next couple of weeks."
"And does Nazli want to be married in the gardens?" Benamil asked,
reaching up to brush aside the runner face that had appeared near his
neck, snuffling in his ear for a treat.
"She seems to like the idea," she said. "Although she said she thinks
I'm making far too big a deal about it. I just told her nothing was
too much for my brother." Her smile was sweet and sincere and full of
double meaning. "Now I know you have your rooms in the middle of the
Family Wing. But you like to come down here early in the mornings. I
was thinking we could move you to the back corner suite after you're
married. That way you'd come out on this side of the building and have
direct access to your beasts. What do you think?"
Benamil had to visualize the area Benani's was talking about. Why
would he want to - **It has it's own entrance... So I can go to Arion
or he can come here and people won't notice.**
"I think that sounds like a good idea," the beastcrafter agreed.
"I'm glad, because you wouldn't have changed her mind about it
anyway." Zathris butted in, wrapping an arm around Benani's waist and
giving her a little squeeze.
Benani smiled at Zathris. She didn't really like what she was hiding
from him, but what he didn't know couldn't hurt him. She looked back
at her brother with the same smile. "I'll make the arrangements," she
said. "I want to move Nazli there now as she's still in the staff
wing. I'll talk with Zelanka about it."
Benamil nodded, "Okay, I'm sure she'll enjoy getting out of the staff
quarters. Now, let me get your runners for you." He turned and strode
into the stables, leaving the beast he'd been working with hitched to
the outer corral. When he returned he had Zathris's black stallion,
Anil, and Benani's black mare, Neepa. The two made quite the handsome
pair as far as runners went.
"Here you go. You want a hand up, Benani?" he asked, handing the Lord
Holder the reigns to his mount and then looking to his sister.
"Please," she said grabbing the saddle and bending her leg so he could
toss her up.
Benamil laced his hands together, bent, hooked her foot in them and
lifted, effectively swinging her up into the saddle. "You two have a
Zathris tipped his head to his brother-in-law, "Thanks, Ben." Then he
looked to Benani and gestured for her to proceed him down the path,
even though Anil was pawing at the ground, anxious to lead, "Ladies
She grinned and thumped Neepa's side. The mare took off like an arrow
and she laughed with the joy of the ride.
Last updated on the January 1st 2018