By Gypsie-Ami Offenbacher-Ferris
She had to get to the Chapel, it was the only place that might offer her refuge. She could not, absolutely not marry some decrepit ogre from another county she had never met.
Yes, at 18 and not married, she’d be too old for marrying soon. None of the suitors her uncle had brought forth previously had, well, suited her.
This time, she’d not been given a choice. The marriage license had been drawn up by her uncle and her intended’s man, whatever that meant. Well, she was having none of it. Not one single bit of it.
She was here to see Father Kilpatrick about joining the Sisters Order. She would become a nun before she let some stinky curmudgeon touch her, anywhere. No one could stop her, no one would.
Fiadh jerked hard on the chapel door handle, it didn’t budge. Using both hands she tugged the ancient door hard, it burst open, tossing her to the ground. She landed amid a sea of her colorful skirts, right on top of the newly turned flower bed.
A man dressed in colors generally reserved for the Royalty, let out a very manly-type expletive before he spied Fiadh sitting and stewing he surmised, in the middle of the moist soil of the chapels garden.
“Look at the state o’you!” he exclaimed, reaching a hand out to help Fiadh right herself.
Her face reddened with embarrassment, turning the skin over her high cheekbones to the most lovely rose color the gentleman had ever seen.
Fiadh released his hand immediately upon gaining her balance, turned to shake off the soil clinging to her skirts and looked up into the face of the most comely man she had ever laid eyes on.
“‘Ere let me help you, Lass.” He held his breath, waiting for a rebuke to his assumption, hope, that she remained unmarried.
“Thank you,” she replied softly, mesmerized by the aqua color of his eyes. “You are most beautiful,” she said quite honestly.
“Your beauty outshines that of any other Lady or Lass in this entire land,” he answered, smiling at her innocent forthrightness.
Fiadh blushed harder, the rose deepening upon her cheeks. They both began speaking, stopped then started again in unison. Once their laughter subsided, the young man introduced himself.
“If I may, my name is Braedyn Farlyn and ‘tis very nice to meet you!” He said, reaching to pick a bit of dirt from her hair.
A thunderous noise engulfed them, from the East to the West. Horses pounded the cold ground in an effort to heed their Master’s wishes.
“Oh no, my uncle,” she was barely able to whisper through her panic.
“My father,” he groaned softly.
They looked at each other questioning, “What?” Simultaneously, which brought answering smiles again.
“Go head, please but hurry Fiadh,” the sound of her name rolling off his tongue in the most lovely tone sounding like fee-a.
“My uncle is trying to marry me off to some old codger to give him sons, but I can’t, I just can’t!”
Her unshed tears were his undoing. What a Lass she was, beautiful aye, but he could see through to her heart and she was a treasure, his treasure. The thought startled him.
“Marry me,” he said. “Say yes quickly Fiadh before my father and his men get here to carry me away to marry some old spinster from a farm near here,” his words stringing together in a mad rush of explanation.
“Yes, yes please Lord Farlyn,” she answered quickly.
“Braedyn,” he said.
“Yes, Braedyn,” she began but her hushed response was cut short when he pressed his lips to hers, sealing their commitment for both contingencies to witness.
Braedyn‘s father arrived only a moment before Fiadh’s uncle galloped up on his prized stud, pulling cruelly on the reigns to halt his charge.
The two older men looked at the couple embracing each other on the chapels threshold. Both let out belly-rolling guffaws before addressing their younger kin.
Braedyn’s father spoke first,
“I see the two of you have met and yer both agreeable to the match?” He said.
“Finally!” Groaned Fiadh’s uncle but not unkindly. In fact, he looked quite pleased.
The young couple pulled away from each other, their eyes full of disbelief and wonder.
“You?” Fiadh asked.
“You?” Braedyn asked.
“Well, get on with it then,” stated Fiadh’s uncle, “We ‘aven’t all day to dilly dally ‘ere!”
The young couple glanced around at the multitude of smiling faces surrounding them, before looking back at each other. Their smiles matching their kins, they stepped into the cool refuge of the chapel. Their hearts now full of joy and hope for the future, their future cocooned in blossoming love.