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SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMEONE BLUE

All stared aghast, they hadn't counted on this at all. Not a word was said as each tried to sort out their feelings on the matter. Finally, Iffley broke the silence, "Well Adena?"

She raised her eyes to look directly at him. "It's true, if that is what you are questioning."

Iffley turned away from her direct gaze. Jonathon was seething with rage over the pain this woman was causing his friend. Adena's facade of calm was beginning to deteriorate in the constant silence. Recognizing this, Archimedes addressed the company, "We will take our leave now. You are welcome to stay for the ceremony, but I am sure you wish to discuss it." He stood and turned to Adena, who was already quickly leaving the room. "Gentlemen," Archimedes nodded and left. As he closed the door, he heard angry buzzing erupt behind it.

He found Adena on the balcony overlooking the garden with her head in her hands. He paused as he heard her quietly sobbing. Then he walked up to her and turned her gently to face him, "Adena, I know what's going through your head. We've been over this. It will be alright."

"I didn't think they'd take it so hard though," she said, her voice muffled by her tears. "I don't want anything to happen to you because of this decision." Suddenly, she looked up and said bluntly, "If they ever try to use me as leverage to get any of the lands or the power, don't give in to them. Promise me, please." She looked imploringly at him, her tear-filled eyes begging him to do as she asked.

"Don't ask me to do that, Adena. You know I could never do it with a clear conscience. Besides, I don't think you'd really want me to abandon you."

"I...know, it's just... that... oh, never mind," she said, slightly flustered.

"I know," he said comfortingly confident as he prepared to take her in his arms.

"Excuse me. They said that I could find the Enchantress here." Adena's centurian stepped out of the shadows, his face blushing and eyes cast down.

Adena moved towards her guard and said humourously, "Anything I can do for you, centurian?"

"Yes, m'lady. I was instructed to inform you when the minister arrived. I was afraid some misfortune had befallen you," he answered looking quite confused about Archimedes' presence.

"Thank you, centurian. You may go now." The centurian hurriedly left the balcony. Archimedes came to Adena and drew her arm through his, "Come. It's time to face the music." She laughed at this but soon hushed when they entered the room that was static with emotion.

Jonathon Pierce spoke immeadiately, "I refuse to stay and that goes for all my companions."

"Mind your words," came a tired voice. "Thank you, Your Grace, for the invitation but we'll not stay." Iffley looked at Adena, "I hope that this is what you want." He raised his sceptre and he and his entourage vanished.

Taft glared violently at Blue as Adena watched Iffley fade away. "I won't be staying either but you haven't heard the last of me," he said in a voice filled with the portent of evil. Adena pulled slightly closer to Blue in fear. Taft left with his tiara before anyone could respond further.

Archimedes looked at Bronson with a challenge in his eyes, "Do you, sir, have any parting threats?"

"I do," Bronson stated. "You have what isn't yours. It will be taken from you." With that, he vanished.

"I wonder how he intends to take the belt," Adena said puzzled.

Archimedes however had interpreted the threat differently, "Or how he intends to take you."

Adena looked up in alarm and Archimedes told her not to worry. "Come on, now. It's not good to keep a man of the cloth waiting."

Archimedes and Adena exchanged vows in the lambent moonlight of the balcony with a proud centurian standing as witness. As soon as the ceremony was finished, he and the minister rushed back to Furanose to spread the good news.

Archimedes and Adena returned to the courtroom. Adena took a seat near Archimedes on a chaise lounge and he produced the Note. Beautiful music filled the air as Archimedes skillfully played the various instruments and dawn found him still playing as Adena rested silently against his shoulder.


 © 1984, 

L. Charles, D. Conrad, A. Duncan, Enad the Great, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft

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