Instead, I’m indulging in some shameless self-promotion. I’ve included an extract from FORBIDDEN MAGIC. In the scene below, Subena (an álfar) is about to wed the dark elf, Kamber to seal a treaty between their countries. Tradition forbids contact between the bride and groom prior to the nuptials, but the sneaky heroine dresses up like a dancing girl and crashes the elfin version of a bachelor party. Kamber, naturally, falls head-over-heels for the disguised damsel. You’d think he’d be happy when she turns out to be his bride…
AN EXTRACT FROM FORBIDDEN MAGIC:
Everything blurred. He hoped to have some time to get his mind right, but all too soon, Remington stood in front of him in ill-fitting robes. If Kamber weren’t worried about the end of life as he knew it, he’d tell Remington what he could do with his damn smirk.
He focused on obliterating the dancing girl from his mind, but his body refused to cooperate with his brain. He could feel her. Nearby. The serenity of knowing she was in the chapel competed with the dread that he felt for his future. The combination left him disoriented.
He had a vision of a blue being floating down the aisle, but could tell little about the bride beneath the veil. His bride’s posture was perfect. Everything about his wife-to-be was probably perfect. The notion filled him with revulsion.
The ceremony drifted through his consciousness, hazy and unreal, as if he watched the proceedings from some distant place. He thought he mumbled the correct responses, but he couldn’t be sure. He heard someone whisper, “Kneel.”
He dropped to his knees at the altar. He fidgeted.
The tiny creature by his side hissed, “Be still.” Had his bride actually scolded him during his ceremony? It was surely a sign of things to come.
His head popped up. He lowered it quickly when he realized a councilor prayed to Bockle. When he took his bride’s small, gloved hand into his large one, the sweetness of her scent assaulted him. He felt a brief surge of desire. What the hell was wrong with him, lusting after two females? One who despised him, one he despised.
Exhaustion had claimed his body when Remington finally pronounced that he was wed. People chuckled. He realized he was supposed to kiss his bride.
My life is over.
He lifted the veil. Only years of royal training kept him from screaming like a little girl.
Underneath all the fabric, under the netting, beneath the jewels and all the trappings of wedding attire, he found the smoldering eyes of the dancing girl. A wave of pure happiness flashed through him. He’d married the dancing girl.
No, wait. He’d married Subena. Is she…? Dung. Remington had gotten the eye color wrong.
Deadly anger consumed him. His little bride had deceived him. And he’d made a fool of himself.