She remembered standing on that ridge overlooking that moorland. It had been a morning like this a little over a year ago. The sky had been that pale, cool pink softening towards a rainy afternoon chill. She remembered huddling under her cloak, trying to keep the rain out as they continued the long road to the false king’s castle.
A silly girl, that’s what she had been. A silly girl with big ideas and a bundle of arguments that meant nothing to an iron tyrant.
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.
Emily knew the minute she went around the corner that she was about to get an earful.
“It’s that time of the year again!” said the elf. He sat as if he’d been waiting for her, his hands clenched on tree bark and his green eyes seething petulant fire. “I’m never going to get the ribbons out of my hair!”
Emily glanced at the elf’s tree. The connection between him and the tree was still a mystery to her, but like most things about wild folk, she didn’t bother questioning it.