There was a time in my life when I swore to all of the powers that be that I would never allow myself to marry. I hated the very idea of it. Marriage was little more than church or civilly sponsored slavery. It was an institution where women were the chattel, the object to become that of her husband to do what he would. It did not matter if she were born noble, or made royal. By the very virtue of marriage to the right woman the man, be he a count or commoner, would himself become greater. I have always watched the men around me with some measure of bemusement, whether they were aware of my rank and position or not, try to steer me toward romance or consideration of them for my hand in marriage. I am extremely choosy about my lovers – why on earth would these men believe that I would be less discriminate about the man that I chose to share my bed exclusively for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health and until death us do part?
My first husband was once a Count. He had been married once before and I will spare the details of that, only to tell you that when he and I met he was an embittered man. He was deep in his cups, but committed to his King and to France and his brother warriors in service to the King. We met at a hunt that the King was hosting. We talked endlessly that day and over the coming weeks. I truly think that we missed each other when we didn’t see each other for hours, let alone days. Neither one of us expected our bonds to be so deep. We were not only wed by human standards, we were wed by those of the Fae as well. By our laws he became a King and I was never happier before that moment.
And then tragedy struck. My husband and King was killed by a man who was once a brother warrior, turned traitor. My husband went upon a mission to save another man’s life. Looking back on our goodbyes, he must have known that he would not return. I buried him and with it, I buried my heart. I was a shadow of my former self for many years. Again, men sought my hand in marriage. I had no interest in any of them.
Then, unexpectedly, again nearly two and a half centuries later, I gave my heart to another man. This man was outside of the law. He was dangerous and the keepers of the law feared him. In spite of what people said of him, my heart held fast. He was a good man, always. We married, had children. We made a life on our farm raising horses and cattle. Then one day the bearers of lies came and told him that I had left his side because of his crimes, I had had a belly full of him and his reputation and simply departed. Still others said that I had never existed in his life and it was all just a drunken dream. He then did proceed to get very drunk, whereby the worst liar of all – a keeper of the law with no sense of what it meant, planted a shot into his brain. I found him, bore him home and buried him with my own hands.
In both cases I loved my husbands very much. They were those whom I chose, and they chose me. They were not chosen by my father nor a brother or by my council for me. In that I succeeded. I determined that my marriages were not for political gain or power but for love. I can tell you that having been twice made a widow, nothing prepares you for the emptiness that comes once you lose someone who was not your gaoler, but rather someone whom you have come to love as much as your own life.
Perhaps I have been right all along. Perhaps marriage was not meant for me.
Muse: Fanny Fae
Fandom: Original Fiction