It was one of the largest gatherings for a wedding that Sebastian had ever seen. He had a unique vantage point at this particular ceremony and watched the bride step ever closer down the aisle.
Her dress was a silken blue, clinging to her thin frame and making her skin shine pale under the moonlight. Her dark hair was braided to the nape, hanging in loose tangled curls down her back. It was her eyes, though, that captured him; an electric blue that shone from her face and froze him in place. They pierced him through, anchoring him to the ground though he felt as though his entire world was floating away.
Those in the crowed watched her approach, shifting nervously as she walked by. The mere gravity around her seemed heavy and thick. Her movements were at once smooth and yet stiff. She was as graceful as any predator and yet her posture emanated hostility.
She did not want to be there.
No more than the groom, it would seem.
Rumours of the wedding would travel through the Guilds for weeks. The expression of fear plastered on the groom’s face as he watched his bride approach; her own hostility and obvious reluctance. The scandal that would later arise, when it was discovered that they had never met, never even knew the other’s name.
It was the first arranged marriage in over a century.
The bride ghosted up the steps and came to a final stop before her soon-to-be-husband. Her eyes shone with restrained emotion. Sebastian noticed the purple flecks scattered amongst the sharp blue and at once his heart beat faster.
The ceremony began, though Sebastian barely heard a word. At least, not until the priest brought out the ceremonial candle. He watched the girl reach out to light it, watched the reflection of the flame flicker in her eyes.
The priest nodded, and turned to Sebastian with a smile. ‘You may now go forth, bound in life, to enjoy your future together.’
Sebastian swallowed and nodded. He turned to the girl on the steps, with her hostile eyes and stiff posture. The girl that was now his wife.
He took her hand, half expecting her to resist, and led her down the stairs and through the gathered crowd. As they cheered, some of them genuinely happy, others (the ones that knew him personally) confused.
He supposed, as he helped her into the waiting carriage, they should get to know each other. At least before they were due to attend the reception.
‘So,’ he said, closing the door behind him and settling into the hard seat across from her. ‘I’m Sebastian. What’s your name?’