3 Coloine, after dinner
Audryn, with Sovrin in tow (I’m not sure how she managed to extricate her from the other mages), had many words for me when she returned, starting with, “When were you going to tell me about this?”
“Or me?” Sovrin said. “And how long has this been going on? Sesskia, if you’re carrying on a secret affair with Sai Aleynten, we deserve to know!”
“We’re married,” I blurted out. That left them both speechless. I took advantage of the silence to explain when that had happened, and some of the details surrounding the event—not many, this wasn’t the kind of conversation where you talk about your sex life—and they stared at me a little while longer, while I felt an intense desire to sink through the floor.
Then they both squealed and hugged me, and said things like “it’s so wonderful!” and (Audryn) “both of us married on the same night!” and then they wanted more details, so I explained why it had to remain a secret, which they both completely understood and swore never to reveal the truth.
So then I ended up telling them about the secret pouvrin, which meant I had to demonstrate, and Audryn said, “I wish I could do that. Terrael is old-fashioned and doesn’t want us to move in together until we’ve said our public vows, and he feels like that means we have to sneak around to be together. But he looks so incredibly guilty every time he comes to my room, no one could have any doubt what he’s doing. He’d be thrilled with those pouvrin.”
“I’m still shocked,” Sovrin said. “No offense, Sesskia, but it’s hard to imagine Sai Aleynten unbending enough to have any kind of romantic relationship, never mind being married.”
“Oh,” I said, “he unbends,” and then it was the kind of conversation where you talk about your sex life, and both of them were shocked that I’d been a virgin, but not in a bad way, and now I feel guilty about sharing that sort of thing with two women who don’t need to look at their leader and imagine him having sex. But I couldn’t help myself, it was so good not to have to keep it a secret. And when we finally went back to the circle chamber, neither of them gave any hint that they knew anything about Cederic and me that they shouldn’t. I should have given Audryn more credit.
Now it’s after dinner, and I can go to Cederic soon, and we’ll talk about what might happen tomorrow, and what I might need to do. And I’m finally going to ask him what it will look like when the two worlds come together, if only to give myself something to think about other than the God-Empress.
I feel as if we’re all fumbling around, probably because we are. Vorantor is desperately trying to cling to his authority, a task made more difficult by the fact that Cederic is still acting humble and deferring to him in ways that make it sound like Vorantor is even more incompetent than he is, without giving Vorantor any excuse to challenge him. Even Vorantor’s mages go to Cederic now for advice. I’m afraid that Vorantor’s pride is going to drive him past the point of reason, but Cederic seems not to worry, and he knows the man far better than I do, so I’m not going to worry about it either.