This is based off a bit from the beginning of Lady Taisiya’s Fourth Husband:
“It’s all right to be nervous. I was nervous, the first time I wed. And the second,” she added wryly.
Sefton peeked at her. “Nervous?” He had never heard of women being nervous at their weddings!
“Oh, terrified. My first husband, he was much older than I was, and he had lost his entire family. I was barely older than you are now, and I was meant to be Honored Wife over a man who could have been my grandfather.” She wrinkled her nose, and then let the expression slide into a wistful smile. “We became friends, eventually. It was he who found my second husband.”
Her husband had no family to stand up with him, and she, the Honored Wife, was meant to stand on her own.
Her mother and her fathers, her sisters and their husbands, they all sat in the audience, because this was her First Marriage, and it was meant to be an important step out of her natal family.
But Diafel walked himself down the aisle and bowed before her. “Lady Taisiya, I come to you.”
The rest of the words were supposed to be spoken to his mother and father, but Diafel was long past his eggling days, and his parents had no sway over him – if, indeed, they still lived.
“Diafel, I accept you. Come into my home and stand as First Husband over my lands.”
The ceremony was short. Diafel was meant to steady her, not to join her with other families or to create an alliance. He was meant to educate her in manners her mother felt she hadn’t let been taught, not to grow her household.
She brought him home in her carriage, driving herself. He said nothing, watching the scenery go by. She said nothing, uncertain what a girl like her said to an old man like him.
His hair had gone grey! He had been married his first time when her mother was still an eggling! He was still strong and still handsome, yes, but he was old.
“So.” He cleared his throat as they neared the home that would now be theirs. Hers. “It isn’t within protocol for me to speak first, and for that I apologize. But now that we’ve done what everyone else wants – the question is, what do we want? Which comes down to – what do you want, my Lady Wife?”
Taisiya turned and stared at him, utterly without any idea what to say.
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