It was traditional, not to say required, to be married before the stones. The people of the fields and drops of Little Boulding had kept to this tradition, not at all a requirement, since before anyone could remember. So of course it was expected that if they were to be married, even a goblin and a man ought to be married before the stones.
On this day, the happiest day, Gnarlas was trying to decide why the man wanted to marry her at all.
It was a firm kiss, soft but passionate. His hands at her elbows were not confining but relaxed. It would have been simple to translate his laxness as overconfidence, but there was something in his expression that warned Li otherwise. And she couldn’t help it—not when his glance was lost to her, not when she saw how tired he was—not when he looked as if he had read her thoughts and his heart was close to breaking.
But oh, what joy to see him! To find him, alive! I could not stop but embraced him. Rupert patted my back with light affection. I was surprised, cavalier as he was in nature, that he did not withdraw entirely.
“Thank God,” I said, “thank God!”
“Steady on,” said Rupert, the smile in his voice as plain as any wholesome laugh. “What’s this, then?”