Marriage is in the air, apparently. Or so Aoibheann seems to think. Not for her and Maric, I hasten to add, though I do wonder if Maric is of an age where he would not presume to take her to his bed without a ring on her finger. Not that it is any of my business. Much as I love Aoibheann, the concept of pursuing any sort of romance with her seems fraught with… complications. It doesn’t seem to deter him though.
No, it is not her marriage that concerns Aoibheann, so much as marriages for the villagers, those that are not already married anyway. Quite why she feels the need to intervene, I do not know. I am sure most of them can work it out for themselves, even the ones who are like I was in my younger days, shy and awkward with those of the opposite gender. I know many would dispute that description, but I was.
I had gone down to the tavern to buy drinks for the various people who had worked so hard in the rebuilding of the tavern and the other parts of the village. Maric joined me and we spoke of the various improvements we had made,how it would be good for everybody and praised all those who had worked so hard to achieve it. I spoke of Father, and how he would have been proud to see me wandering around with construction plans, adding that maybe had learned something from the old bugger, despite not having followed him into the family business.
Maric assured me that he was proud of my achievements and suggested that maybe a celebration was in order to commemorate a new start for our domain and to honour my dedicated service. He proposed a toast to better times. I shrugged off the praise, telling him I had only done what was required of me. It had been more fun that adding up numbers though. As for reward, what could he give me? He could make me a duke or a lord or whatever, but he knew how little I cared for titles. I had no need of titles or riches. The villagers, I said, were the ones who deserved a celebration. They had worked hard to rebuild the village, and they deserved something after being cooped up in the Shadowroads for so long. I would, however, join in his toast.
Aoibheann turned up, accompanied by one of the guards, and carrying a glass of wine. She seemed a little out of it, but had at least put on a decent dress. Maric welcomed her with his usual grace and praise of her beauty and elegance, causing her to blush. I echoed those compliments and added that she was an excellent party planner. We should have a celebration for the forthcoming feast of Lughnasadh, I said, with games and dancing. She admonished me, most seriously, that you did not play games at Lughnasadh, you had contests. She added something about never being allowed to go and having to stay inside.
Maric assured her that she was most certainly allowed to go wherever she pleased, and that she could arrange whatever contests she wished. She stammered somewhat, wondering how she could arrange a festival she had not been allowed to go to. She also started going on about how she couldn’t arrange the matchmaking and marriages because she had never been allowed to marry herself. I was a little confused by that, not remembering anything particularly about marriages being a part of Lughnasadh. It was only later, reading up on the subject, that I realised she was maybe thinking of the Tailteann games of an older era, at which, among other things, trial marriages were arranged, and those games had taken place at this time of year.
I left them to it after that, thinking they would appreciate some time together. I had things to do anyway, which now, apparently, included preparing for a Lughnasadh festival, or at least, warning the staff that Aoibheann was going to be planning one. I also had a certain amount of misgiving, remembering that there was still an open invitation to Nemaine that had not been revoked. This was the first celebration we were to have since the invitation. I can only hope that she declines to turn up.