8 (pt.1): The Savages' Feast

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"When you got married, it was all hands on deck. Even the stable boys traded in their caps for butler's uniforms. I was lucky, all I had to do was put on a different apron," the young maiden said as she helped the princess put on her jewelry, which was most definitely more expensive than anything Sophie had ever owned. "After it was over and everything was cleaned up, we were given a few bottles of champagne to go around, to celebrate. It was a big deal, and everyone had a lot of fun. We sent the children to bed and by the end of the night, we ladies kicked off our shoes while the gents threw aside their coats and we all danced in the light of the glowworms hanging around the reception area. Dex and I had a lot of fun that night." She couldn't help but smile at the memory.

Sophie sat Biana down at the vanity and began to brush her hair carefully and braid the front pieces and some of the back ones back into a twisted braid bun as Biana put on her jewelry and dusted on a little make up. As the two worked in silence, Sophie remembered the low colorful glow of the worms crawling on the elegant columns set in place for the event and how everyone's aprons and shoes and ties and jackets were all thrown off the temporary wooden dance floor set in place. Most of the adult servants were all dancing and drinking merrily, celebrating the union of the kingdom's jewel and a worthy nobleman in their own time. The sun hadn't been in the sky for hours and the stars twinkling above reflected in everyone's eyes. The champagne on her tongue tasted like liquid gold melted and chilled as a beverage just for her and Dex, who danced with her the whole night.

Memories of dancing with a younger Dex in their old village flickered through her vision all that night, and suddenly the large hand on her waist would shrink and so would he, suddenly becoming eleven years old again in her mind with that old impish grin plastered across his face. Then, right before her eyes, he was thirteen, pimply and scrawny and his eyes level with her nose. Then he would grow to be fifteen, lanky and tall with his hair awkwardly curled back behind his ears because he wasn't sure what he was going to do with it yet and too short pant legs and shirt sleeves because he was growing so fast. Then he would be seventeen again, muscular from training as a knight, his voice deeper from puberty and a whole head taller than her. His armor plates shucked off so he was only wearing his slacks and his cotton tunic. He smiled and laughed freely, the sound rumbling in her ears. It was like back when they were younger, except now he knew the proper steps and his hand on her waist was firm and steady instead of flimsy and sweaty.

Her heart was free that night.
Free of worries and cares.
Free of responsibility and work.
Free of the past and present.

On that dance floor, it was just her and Dex, dancing the night away like they were just a boy and a girl enjoying the fruits of life indulgently. The years of co-parenting the triplets had aged them, but that night they were young again and their futures were full of possibilities.

Sophie snapped out of the memory when Biana put a hand on her shoulder and asked, "Sophie? Is everything okay?"

The maid blinked before smiling widely, "Yeah. Sorry. I was just looking back on the memory. The night of your wedding was one of the best of my life."

"Really?" Biana looked honored, "I'm so glad you guys had fun too! Let's hope that tonight is another one of the best nights of your life, and that it's the start of many more. Are you ready?"

Hesitantly, Sophie nodded, and Biana pulled the dress out of the bag hanging on the paper room divider meant for changing when people other than a ladies' maid were present. As soon as she saw it, Sophie couldn't take her eyes off of it.

The dress was absolutely breathtaking. The dress was made of a rich, ruby red satin with a stylish heart shaped neckline and draped off-shoulder sleeves. It was simple and elegant and absolutely perfect. So... so perfect. So perfect that Sophie started to cry, her trembling hand covering her wide, unmistakable smile.

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