Song of the Night Three Thousand

Chapter One: Wedding

Kendra was excited. She was going to marry Bracken at last! It was three days after her nineteenth birthday, and she wore a blue gown. Shiara had helped design it. She spuaround and felt giddy.

There was a knock on the door. Seth entered, in his tux. He was seventeen now.

"You have a bit of stubble on your chin," Kendra said.

"I'm thinking of growing a goatee," said Seth. "Newel and Doren approve."

"I'll bet they do," Kendra said, fashioning her sky-blue sash around her waist.

"Well, I suppose I'll head to the Forgotten Chapel now. Though I do want to talk to you about this becoming an Eternal business later."

"Nothing you can say is going to change my mind, Seth," she said, not looking at him.

"You never know when I might hit on the right note."

He left her then, and she remained pensive for a moment, before brushing her mane of dark hair.

Hugo led Seth to the Chapel, which had been reconstructed in the past few years. Seth was quite tall for Hugo to carry now, though he only came up to Hugo's elbow.

Once inside, Seth quickly spotted the pew where Vanessa was sitting in between a satyra with red hair on her right, and a satyr with black hair on her left. Vanessa's olive skin was tantalizing as ever, her cosmetics achieving an alluring effect.

"Vanessa. Looking hot as usual."

"Save it, Seth. I'm sitting between Charybdis and Scylla."

"It's okay, baby," Newel said. "At the reception we can make out like wildfire."

"Hold off, buster," said Doren. "She's my lady, not yours."

"She's still warming up to you gyuts," Seth said.

"Don't give them false hope," Vanessa cautioned.

"Is Kendra really going to make herself an Eternal after this?" Vanessa asked Seth.

"She's bent on it. Only way she and Bracken can be…you know, ultimately united." Seth was a bit uncomfortable at the question.

"Where's Heather?" Doren asked.

"Off somewhere," said Seth. "She'll be here before the kiss takes place, I presume."

"Goodness, Seth. You never used to talk about kissing," said Newel.

"Things change," Seth said.

"So you're still intent on going to Wyrmroost?" asked Vanessa.

"I've still got the tower and leviathan I took from the Dragon Temple there. I'd like to figure out where and when I'd activate them to make them become the forms Thronis told me they will."

"You won't be doing so in the dragon sanctuary, though.

"It would alert them to my having committed the theft, so no, I wouldn't do that. However, it might give me an idea of when I'll be doing so, by going there."

Grandpa Sorenson came in, and saw Seth, relief spreading across his face. "Your sister would have been disappointed if you failed to attend her wedding."

"I wouldn't miss Kendra marrying a unicorn for the world."

Grandpa Sorenson went to the pew where Grandma and Grandpa Larsen were. Seth's parents rested in the pew on the opposite side. Rather than having friends and relatives of the groom on one side, with those who knew the bride on the other, it was mixed across, though most here had known Kendra before meeting Bracken.

Agad then swept in. Seth knew what his purpose in being there was—to make Kendra an Eternal. Seth would have to figure out a way to talk her out of it. Sure, living forever sounded cool, but was it worth it?

And there—in a pink and yellow dress—was Heather Lakerty. Seth had met her when we went to help rebuild the preserve in Brazil which had fallen by the endeavors of the Sphinx. The satyrs and Vanessa scooted over and Seth patted the seat next to him, so that Heather could take it. She did so then cupped his chin in her hands and kissed him gingerly.

"Heather, I like you kissing me, but don't you think the best kiss today should be Kendra and Bracken's?"

"Of course," Heather said. "But that doesn't mean we shouldn't have fun at the reception."

"We can have fun too, Vaness," Newel said, squeezing her arm.

"Maybe when the roof falls in," said Vanessa.

The groom entered, looking quite nervous. "Everything's got to be perfect," he said.

"You look like you've swallowed one of Tanu's anxiety potions," Seth said.

"Funnily enough, I'm almost certain I must have," Bracken said, grinning to show he was joking.

Tanu came in with Mara and 'Lil Bella, their four-year-old daughter. Mara's cheek was bandaged up. The three of them were going to live on the Brazilian preserve when it was reconstituted. Mara would be caretaker. Tanu was still eager to hunt for potion ingredients, so he didn't intend to remain on the preserve at all times, though he had promised to see a fair amount of their daughter.

Fifteen minutes later everyone was there, aside from the bride, and the Great Presence. Even tiny fairies were flitting about the chapel. And Bracken's father stood on the podium.

One other guest came ahead of Kendra, Raxtus, the best man. He wasn't wearing a tuxedo but came in through the chapel window to land on the stage.

Then in came Kendra, stunningly beautiful in her blue dress. She was on the arms of the Fairy Queen, who had elected to give her away. Seth's father had wanted to do that but the Fairy Queen insisted that it was her desire. They strode toward the podium, a few tiny of the tiny fairies showering them with petals.

At last they reached the edge of the stage. The Fairy Queen went to stand by her consort. Kendra, her hands trembling, stood a few feet from Bracken as the minister began speaking the rites.

Soon it was time to exchange the rings. Bracken fitted one over Kendra's finger. "I, Bracken, take you, Kendra, to be my lawfully bound wife, to cherish you to the end of one our lives, which with all luck will never occur."

She put a ring on his finger, after a couple of shaky misses, then said words of a similar nature, before both returned their attention to the minister.

"If anyone objects to this union, speak now or forever hold your peace."

For a few seconds, silence reigned throughout the chapel. Then there was shouting from the hindmost row of the chapel.

"t utterly, entirely, and completely object to this ceremony and all it implies!" shouted a voice.

The creature who uttered this leapt from the last bench, his eyes darting around wildly. It was Verl, a satyr who lived on Fablehaven and who long harbored feelings for Kendra. He brandished a sword, looking fierce and as if he'd like nothing better than to flay every inch of Bracken's skin.