SPOILER ALERT!!! If you haven't read Faetal Distraction, I suggest you skip this post, hop on over to Amazon, B&N or Kobo and get reading!
excerpt from Faetal Surrender
“Viva La Love Wedding Chapel,” Jaroz read from the menu board. “Really?”
“It’s Vegas, man,” Dre said with a smile. The two men joined the others on the front pew.
A really bad Elvis impersonator ignored the men as he continued to argue his point. “I’m not trying to be difficult, but without proper identification, I can’t issue a license.” He adjusted his wig and pushed his sunglasses up his nose. “Without a license, you aren’t legally married.”
Lea touched the man’s arm as she spoke, trying to persuade him to see things their way. “Papers don’t matter to us,” she said soothingly. “It’s only the words that count.”
Fake Elvis shook his head, obviously perplexed. “I don’t understand.”
“Look,” Tori cut in, completely out of patience. “We don’t give a shit about legal, okay, sparky? We need to do this in front of a King.” She looked the man over, shaking her head at what they were willing to stoop to. “You’re going to have to do.”
Ryn chimed in, thrusting a fist full of bills in the impersonator’s direction. “We don’t have documents, but we have a lot of cash.”
Fake Elvis wasted no time relieving Ryn of the money. As he shoved the cash in his waistband, he barked at the elderly lady seated at the organ, “Hit it, Martha.”
Martha began playing the traditional wedding march. The longer the song went on, the more Tori’s eye twitched. “Can she play something else?” Tori asked the impersonator.
“Do you have a request?” the man replied.
Before she could answer, Dre called out, “How about some Jay-Z?”
“Noooo,” Vivie said, shaking her head adamantly. “You know any Spice Girls?”
“Spice Girls, Ilyah?” Jaroz said, shaking his head. “Really?”
“What?” Vivie answered him. “Got something against girl power?”
Tori rolled her eyes and counted to ten, reminding herself that she loved these people and wanted them to share in this special occasion.
A very confused Martha stared out at nothing for a few moments, then launched back into the wedding march. Tori sighed audibly.
As Tori fished through her pockets for the speech that was to be used, Caiden and Jaroz got up and wandered up to the altar. Completely oblivious to the fact that there was a wedding going on, they examined the floor and mumbled to themselves.
“What,” Tori all but growled, “are you doing?”
Caiden didn’t look up, answering absently, “Trying to figure out where to stab the daggers.”
“Yeah,” Jaroz agreed, “the floor is concrete.”
Fake Elvis looked horrified. “You aren’t stabbing anything! You can’t have weapons in here.” He turned to Tori, and she was pretty sure he was wondering if taking their cash had been a good idea. As if he’d read her mind, Ryn pulled out another wad of bills and handed it over to the man.
“There will be no stabbing,” Tori barked. “Save it for after.”
Caiden and Jaroz sat back down, grumbling their disappointment.
Ignoring everyone but Fake Elvis, Tori handed the man a paper containing the precious words that would forever tie her to Ryn. Of course, they were already bound for eternity, but something about saying it out loud seemed very real and permanent to Tori. It simultaneously thrilled her and freaked her the fuck out.
The not-quite king looked over the paper, his fat little nose all scrunched up as he tried to figure out how what he was reading.
“I’m sorry,” he said, “but what are your names? And what is this, Dandyfern?”
Tori resisted the urge to smack herself in the forehead, reminding herself once more that she wanted this wedding. “Dun-dah-foon,” she pronounced slowly.
The music stopped and Martha asked, “Are you foreigners?”
Jaroz fell into a fit of laughter, eventually taking Caiden and Dre with him.
“Something like that,” Ryn answered. “Just do your best with the words.” He twirled his hand in a plea to get on with things.
Fake Elvis cleared his throat and began to read. “I am the King, my word is law. These children of… Da-new?” Tori nodded at the man. He cleared his throat again. “These children of Da-new, Tow-ree-saw of Dan-dee-foon and Ex-an-der-run of Owl-ber-ron…”
Ryn interrupted, saying, “It’s Zan-der-ryn, with a z. Like xylophone.”
“I used to play the xylophone in school,” Martha said wistfully.
“Did you?” Lea asked, engaging the woman further. Tori stared daggers at her sister, who ignored Tori completely.
“Oh yes,” Martha continued, lost in some memory. “I was quite good.”
Tori continued to stare as Martha and Lea got better acquainted- in the middle of her wedding- until Dain spoke behind her.
“Why don’t you go by Xan?” he asked Ryn.
Ryn shrugged. “Don’t know, brother. I’ve always just gone by Ryn.”
“Xan the man,” Dain said with a chuckle. “That’s catchy.”
As Ryn and Dain discussed nicknames and Lea and Martha discussed band practice, Tori squeezed the bridge of her nose and closed her eyes. She considered beating them all to death with her bouquet.
When Dre, Mae, and Abel began a conversation on where to go and eat after the ceremony- the ceremony that was still going on- Tori could take no more.
“Pipe the fuck down!” she screamed, silencing the entire room. Turning to Fake Elvis, she smiled sheepishly in apology and said, “Forget the titles. Tori and Ryn. Tori and Ryn will do fine.”
Before the ceremony could start again, the entire chapel swayed. Ryn was instantly at Tori’s side, a big hand on her back to steady her. Okay, maybe it wasn’t the chapel that had swayed at all. Maybe she was still feeling the effects of magickal kick-back.
“Baby,” Ryn said, concern thick in his voice. “I thought you were all better.”
Fake Elvis was suddenly concerned too. “Is she sick? I’m prone to bacterial infections.”
Mae snorted. “You’re The King,” she said. “I thought you were prone to painkillers and peanut butter and banana sandwiches.”
The entire room broke out in laughter… all except Tori and Elvis. While Elvis looked a little sick to his stomach, Tori looked around for someone to kick.
“Can we just move things along?” she asked, hoping the lethal look on her face conveyed just how over this whole thing she was.
Fake Elvis cleared his throat and started over. “I am the King, my word is law. These children of Da-new, Tori and Ryn, stand before me in petition of marriage. In accordance with my authority as King, and as the bridge between flesh and Seed…”
Tori raised her eyebrow, daring the impersonator to ask what the Seed was. To his credit, the man went back to reading.
“I hereby grant their wish, and bind them as one.”
“Wait!” Tori cried, then took off toward the chapel door.
“I knew it,” Ryn said, stomping his foot. “I knew you wouldn’t go through with it.”
Ignoring him, Tori kept going right out the door, retrieving a box from the car. As she entered the chapel again, she scowled at Ryn.
“No, Captain Asshat, I have something for you.” Tori dropped the box on the front pew, digging out her gift… not that Ryn deserved it after his little tantrum.
Tori turned and handed Ryn the captain’s hat she’d stolen from him long ago. It was still in pristine condition, as she’d kept it locked away safely for over 200 years.
Ryn’s eyes widened as he gingerly took the hat from Tori. He held it for several moments, staring at it as tears formed in the corners of his eyes.
Oh, hell no. “Don’t do it, Ryn,” she warned.
“Do what?” he asked, genuinely confused. The tears shimmered in his eyes as he stared at her, all of his emotions on his sleeve.
Tori poked a finger at his chest. “Do not ruin our wedding with your feelings.”
As the chuckles echoed around them, Ryn blinked at her several times, then broke into a smile. “Continue,” he instructed the impersonator.
Fake Elvis inclined his head and went on, “Please repeat after me.”
“Who?” Vivie interrupted. “Tori or Ryn?”
“Excuse me?” Elvis said, looking confused.
“Who is supposed to repeat after you?” Vivie said loudly, as if the man were hard of hearing.
“Ahh…” Elvis searched his notes frantically. “It doesn’t say, really.”
Tori waived her bouquet in the air around her, scattering petals as she yelled, “We both repeat!” She took a deep breath and held it until she was satisfied that she wouldn’t throttle anyone. “Please,” she pleaded, “just get a move on.”
Elvis tried to smile, but looked more like he was about to run from the room. After clearing his throat yet again, he continued. “Okay, repeat after me. Oh, and please grasp hands and look into each other’s eyes.”
Ryn slapped the captain’s hat on his head, bringing a genuine smile to Tori’s lips. “You look ridiculous,” she teased.
He grinned at her. “And you look absolutely edible.”
Fake Elvis choked on a gasp. After a moment of silence, he seemed to find his composure, taking charge with a vigor Tori didn’t know he possessed.
“Alright, people. Let’s get serious. Grasp hands and repeat the words.”
Ryn took Tori’s hands in his own as they locked gazes.
“You are blood of my blood and bone of my bone,” Elvis read solemnly.
Tori and Ryn spoke in unison as they repeated the words.
“I give you my body, that we two might be one.”
As they spoke as one, Tori ignored the tingle in the corners of her eyes, refusing to cry in front of a crowd.
“As the sun follows it’s course, may you follow me.”
“Oh, that’s lovely,” Martha said softly.
Tori and Ryn once again echoed the vows.
“I give you my spirit, ‘til our life shall be done.”
As they spoke the final words, Tori noticed the sniffles behind her. She swore to the gods that if her sisters were crying, she’d string them up from the chapel rafters.
“Now it says here,” Elvis said, looking over his paper, “that you’d each like to say a little something to the other.”
Dre snorted. “Oh, this should be good.”
Tori turned and glared at the man, willing him to stop laughing. The bastard just winked at her.
Ryn let go of Tori’s hands, pulling the hat from his head and holding it to his chest. Tori wanted to laugh, but managed to keep a straight face.
“I’m not big on speeches,” Ryn said, his voice cracking just a little. “As I’ve said before, you didn’t just steal my ship, you stole my heart. Do with it what you will, but I hope that you keep it always.”
There was a round of oohs and ahhs behind them.
“Very nice, Smokey,” Tori said, smiling. After a beat, she sighed. “You are my anam-cara, Ryn. What else is there to say? Except thank the gods I didn’t lose my soul.” Ignoring the laughter at her back, she kept talking. “Oh, and thank you for the super-cool powers.”
Fake Elvis raised his brows at that, obviously writing off Tori as unstable in his head. He looked like he wanted to do a little probing, but instead he said, “Is that it, then?”
Tori nodded, keeping her eyes on Ryn.
“Okay,” Elvis said, a little too brightly, “then let’s move on. Tori and Ryn, do you vow, in front of these witnesses and the Seed itself, to share in each other’s pain and seek to alleviate it?”
Tori and Ryn answered in unison, “Yes.”
“To share in burdens and dreams, so that you each may grow in spirit?”
“Yes,” they confirmed again.
“To take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?”
“Yes,” they answered. Tori was worried that her own emotions were going to come spilling out of her eyes at any moment.
“And to honor each other as equals, standing side by side as long as you both have breath?”
Fake Elvis smiled brightly. “Then seal your bond with a kiss, and let all of creation bear witness.”
Ryn slapped the captain’s hat back on his head, took Tori in his arms, and bent her over backwards. She wrapped her arms around his neck as their lips connected. The kiss set Tori on fire instantly, and she had to remind herself that they were in public, where getting naked would be frowned upon.
The chapel shook with applause as Ryn righted Tori.
Elvis looked at his notes again. “Commit yourselves to each other in blood… Wait a minute. Blood? That sounds very barbaric.”
“Don’t worry,” Ryn assured the man as he pulled a knife from his pocket. “It’s just a little bit.”
Elvis watched in horror as Ryn sliced open his palm, then repeated the action with Tori. The two grasped hands, bloody palms together, and waited.
When nothing happened, Tori sighed heavily again and barked at Fake Elvis, “Finish this!”
The man jumped and studied his notes again, clearing his throat a few times. Finally, he looked up and said, “A thousand welcomes to you in your union. May you be healthy all your days. May you be blessed with long life and peace. May you grow old with goodness and with riches. You are now one. So shall it is declared, so shall it be done.”
The entire room exploded into chaos as everyone cheered and gathered around the couple to congratulate them. Despite the activity around her, all Tori could see was the extremely pleased face of her husband.
Several minutes later, Tori and Ryn waited patiently on the lawn while the wedding party thrust their knives into the ground in honor of the newlyweds. Despite her wanting to get the hell on with her day, Tori stopped and waited once more as her sisters threw rose petals all over her and Ryn.
In a fit of giggles, Mae mumbled something incoherent. Tori had no idea what her sister had said, but she knew it was smart-ass, and warranted an ass-kicking.
Totally fed up, Tori threw her bouquet at Mae, hitting her sister in the face. Mae screeched and lunged at Tori. Lea’s futile attempt to break up the fight ended up making her a participant, and all three sisters rolled around the chapel lawn throwing punches and slinging curses at each other.
From the sidelines, Jaroz shook his head, saying, “This is the best wedding I’ve ever attended.”
Dre managed to mumble his agreement through his laughter.
Vivie nodded her head. “Right?” She bounced on her heels and clapped as she called out to the girls, “Hit her! Wait! Not in the face…”
Tori would have kicked all of their asses too, if she wasn’t already occupied. After a couple of minutes, the girls lost their momentum, laying on the lawn panting as they continued to glare at each other.
As Tori panted and tried not to pass out, she heard Caiden mumble to himself, “I am never getting married.”