Not a single bit of that was good, even the princess part.
Okay, that wasn’t true. The princess part was good. So were my crown and my kickass clothes, not to mention my boots and underwear.
And I kinda liked the sleigh and wished I’d had a moment to enjoy the ride because I was guessing it would have been fun.
I held onto those thoughts as I kept my hand curled around his fist and then the robed guy moved onto the next statue.
Then, ever game (this was my adventure and I had to make the most of it, as I always did because that was what my parents taught me to do), I pulled in a breath and braved another step closer to my scary groom. I got so close, our arms brushed and his chin dipped back down so he could scowl at me.
“Hi,” I whispered, “me again. Your future wife?” I made a lame attempt at a joke.
He did not laugh. He did not even smile. He continued to scowl but said no words.
Maybe he didn’t have a sense of humor. Maybe he actually had no emotions at all except being bored and pissed.
“Uh…” I persevered, “what are those statues made of? That looks like marble. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s gorgeous.”
His head tipped slightly to the side but his eyes went alert.
Sjofn would totally know what those statues were made of and likely have seen them countless times before (unless, of course, she wasn’t religious).
“Uh…” I mumbled quickly, “I mean, I should know, of course. And I’ve, uh… seen it before, obviously, I mean, seen those statues before just not um…” Shit! “That marble, uh… anywhere else. But I never thought to ask and um… well, we seem to have time to chat.”
He glared at me. Then he shook his head once and looked back at the robed guy.
Okay, that didn’t work either.
I sighed and I did this heavily.
Then a thought occurred to me. I squeezed my fingers on his fist to get his attention and his head turned and dipped to look at me again.
I fought the fear his scary-assed glower sent slithering through my belly, got up on my toes and leaned in slightly, whispering, “Do you speak my language?”
Again with the brows snapping together and narrowing of eyes so I dropped back down on my feet and leaned away an inch.
Then, his voice came quiet but deep and growling and just as scary as the rest of him, “Have you been at the drink?”
The bad news was, he thought I was tipsy. The good news was, he spoke English.
“No, I… don’t think so,” I answered, still whispering.
“If you do not know then you have and have had too much,” he returned, still growling quiet.
“Well, I don’t feel lightheaded or sick and I’m not swaying or singing, which I do, a lot when I’ve imbibed too much so,” I tried another smile, “evidence is suggesting I’m not shitfaced.”
He aimed his narrow-eyed, knit-browed scowl at my mouth again then it snapped back to my eyes.
Then he growled low, quiet and now ominous, “Shut your mouth…” his neck bent further so his angry face was closer and finished, “future wife.”
He spit out the last word like it tasted foul then straightened and looked at the robed guy again and so did I to see he had fortunately moved onto the next statue.
Hmm. None of that went well. Not any of it. Not even a little bit.
And I was right when I first saw him, he didn’t want to be here at all but, I was getting the impression, especially not with me.
I decided to try again maybe at the reception. Maybe after I had some alcohol and maybe after I got some down him. Maybe he’d loosen up then. Maybe, if I got enough down him, he’d pass out so I could avoid the wedding night, uh… festivities until I could figure out how to avoid the marital consummation on the whole.
In other words, hijack a sleigh and get the fuck out of Dodge.
I stood silent as the robed guy kept talking to statues then finally moved back to stand in front of us then he said a bunch more stuff and at long last, he smiled, put a hand on my shoulder, another one he reached high to put on The Dragon’s shoulder and he nodded up at The Dragon happily.
He dropped his hands and I wondered if that was it or if we would exchange rings or vows and I hoped I didn’t have anything I was supposed to know to say but I didn’t wonder long.
This was because The Dragon turned his fist, it opened and his long fingers engulfed my hand and I realized his big body was turning to me.
I turned to him, tipped my head back to look up and then I felt my stomach drop.
He was smiling, even, beautiful white teeth against tan skin. And his eyes were shining with a light that looked a bizarre and terrifying mixture of wolfish, amused, lethal and heated.