A Jarl Mollerson Mystery Series Short Story - The Wedding - Part 3

1 reply [Last post]
httyyd's picture
httyyd
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 10/12/2013

Sorry that this part was delayed by a few days, but alas it is Midterms week.  No reason to explain any of that to most of you.

 

But here we are.  An update on Book 8, I have started planning out an outline and have already started working on writing it down so I can keep everything straight.  Remember the songs, "Legends Never Die" (Jarl's and Annabeth's Theme) and "Warriors" (Vixxen's and Einar's Themes), every lyric will play an important role in the Book and I finished Legends Never Die.  Each lyric has a meaning for what I am doing in the Books.  I put links to remind what each song sounds like.  Hope you enjoy the songs.  I have hardly stopped listening to these two songs recently, listening to them nearly every chance I get.

 

But speaking of things of enjoyment, I hope you all enjoy Part 3 of The Wedding!

 

One last thing, don't know if any of you like listening to music while you read, but I thought that if you do, I could give suggestions to music that I would listen to while writing this all up.

 

If you would like to listen to music that matches the mood of the story and specifically, most of this part, listen to this: ETERNITY | 2-Hours Epic Music Mix | Most Beautiful & Emotional Music - Best Of Collection

 

I did listen to the above music for some of the time writing this part, I mainly listen to this: ELEMENTAL - Best Of Epic Music Mix | Epic Powerful Orchestral Music | NINJA TRACKS

 

Both do a pretty good job of matching the mood, but the first one is more consistent across all the songs in the mix.  The second mix is a mix of epic songs I enjoy listening to while writing.  But you can pick.

 

Hope you enjoy the part!

__________________

 

Rest in Peace NarixuZen.  2004-2017

Member/Group Leader of S.O.D.A.H.T

 

Click SoD Hack Watch or SoDAHT to report a hacking:

Also use this form to help better keep track of the hackers:  (click here for form)

 

Book 8 - Conquest for the Truth is finished!!

 

Book 9 - The Mist in the Darkness

Coming Soon!

 

Destiny in the Dark

Chapter 3 - Friends and Enemies

 

Proud Leader and fellow member of:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are links to the chapters of my fan-fic series.  The books go in chronological order.

 

The Clue of the Missing Socks.

Chapters 1 and 2                         Chapter 3                                       Chapter 4

Chapter 5                                      Chapter 6                                        Chapter 7

Chapters 8 and 9                        Chapter 10                                     Chapter 11

Chapters 12 and 13                     Chapters 14, 15, and 16             Chapter 17

Chapter 18                                    Chapter 19                                      Chapter 20

Chapter 21 and 22                      Chapter 23                                     Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26 - There is a hidden surprise.  Can you find it?

Chapter 27                                   Chapter 28, Part 1                         Chapter 28, Part 2

Chapter 29                                   Chapter 30                                       Chapter 31

Chapter 32                                   Chapter 33                                       Chapter 34

Chapter 35                                   Chapter 36                                       Chapter 37

Chapter 38                                   Chapter 39                                       Chapter 40

Chapter 41                                   Chapter 42                                       Chapter 43

Chapter 44                                   Chapter 45, Parts 1 and 2

 

The Mysterious Frozen Fire

Chapter 1         Chapter 2         Chapter 3         Chapter 4         Chapter 5         Chapter 6

Chapter 7         Chapter 8         Chapter 9         Chapter 10       Chapter 11       Chapter 12

Chapter 13       Chapter 14       Chapter 15        Chapter 16       Chapter 17       Chapter 18  

Chapter 19       Chapter 20      Chapter 21        Chapter 22, Part 1       Chapter 22, Part 2 

Chapter 22, Part 3

Epilogue/Preview for my Third Story!

 

Thoughts of Guilt

Chapters 1 and 2          Chapters 3 and 4          Chapter 5          Chapter 6          Chapter 7

Chapter 8          Chapter 9          Chapter 10          Chapter 11          Chapter 12, Part 1

Chapter 12, Part 2          Chapter 13         Chapter 14         Chapter 15         Chapter 16

Chapter 17 and 18         Chapter 19         Chapter 20         Chapter 21         Chapter 22

Chapter 23         Chapter 24         Chapter 25         Chapter 26         Chapter 27

Chapter 28         Chapter 29         Chapter 30         Chapter 31         Chapter 32

Chapter 33         Chapter 34         Chapter 35         Chapter 36 and 37

Chapter 38, Part 1         Chapter 39, Part 2         Chapter 40, Part 3         Chapter 41

Chapter 42, Parts 1 and 2         Chapter 43         Chapter 44

Chapter 45, Part 1         Chapter 45, Part 2

 

On the Edge of Mystery

Chapter 1          Chapter 2         Chapter 3        Chapters 4 & 5    Chapter 6, Parts 1 and 2   

Chapter 7          Chapter 8         Chapter 9            Chapter 10       Chapter 11        Chapter 12

Chapter 13        Chapter 14       Chapter 15          Chapter 16        Chapter 17       Chapter 18

Chapter 19        Chapter 20       Chapter 21          Chapter 22       Chapter 23      Chapter 24

Chapter 25        Chapter 26       Chapter 27         Chapter 28        Chapter 29 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 30       Chapter 31       Chapter 32 and 33                         Chapter 34 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 35 Part 1         Chapter 35 Part 2        Chapter 35 Part 3        Chapter 36

 

The Secret Symbol

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7     Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21   Chapter 22   Chapter 23   Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29 and 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39

Chapter 40 and 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43, 44, 45, and 46

 

The Legend of Shadow Mountain

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16   Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23    Chapter 24    Chapter 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29    Chapter 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39    Chapter 40

Chapter 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43    Chapter 44    Chapter 45 & 46

Chapter 47    Chapter 48    Chapter 49    Chapter 50    Chapter 51

 

Teaser "Trailer" for Book 8 - Conquest of the Truth

 

The Crimson Storm

Chapters 1 and 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6

Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapters 10 and 11    Chapter 12

Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15    Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18

Chapter 19    Chapter 20    Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23

Chapter 24    Chapter 25 and 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29

Chapter 30    Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34

Chapter 35 and Epilogue

 

The Wedding

Part 1     Part 2     Part 3 

httyyd's picture
httyyd
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 10/12/2013
Drums R Round. Pi R Squared.

A Jarl Mollerson Mystery Series Short Story

 

 

The Wedding - Part 3

 

Jarl’s Dad, Sigvald’s Point of View

 

         While talking with Stoick, I see the doors to The Great Hall open up and see my son entering, “Well, speak of the yak, here he comes now.”

         My son bows and flips his right hand in a circle a few times, as if to welcome such a greeting, “Sometimes I wonder where in the world he got his sense of humor.  It has to be from his mother’s side of the family.”

         Stoick laughs, “Just don’t let Svana hear about that.”

         Jarl quips, “Oh, she already does.  I mean, she did marry… that.”

         I fold my arms, “But you just gestured to all of me.”

         “That’s it,” Jarl insists.  “Mother does have a sense of humor… She said yes to you.”

         We all laugh, then I tell him, “You’d better not let Annabeth hear you say that about her.”

         “Don’t try to deflect,” my son counters.  “But you are right.”

         Asvord comes over and jab’s her brother’s side, “I wouldn’t think it would matter.  I mean, Annabeth has put up with his sense of humor to this point, what’s a little more?”

         Jarl retorts, “I had plenty of time over the years to practice my material on you.”

         “Yeah, and I finally have the chance to get a rid of you,” Asvord calls back.

         I put up my hands to calm everything down, “Alright, alright, let’s not show everyone here that we are an actually family.  Let’s get what we came here tonight done so we can go home and get some supper.”

         Now that all of those who were in The Great Hall have gone home to eat supper, we can no go about rearranging the entire Hall to the layout for the wedding tomorrow.  We have a bit of a crew ourselves to get all this stuff done: my family, Jarl, Asvord, and Elsa but Svana, she is getting our own supper ready; Hiccup, Astrid, Fishlegs, Snotlout, Ruffnut, and Tuffnut; and then Stoick, Gobber, and myself.

         Stoick announces, “First order of business, we need to move all the tables out of the way and then put all the chairs in rows.  We won’t have enough chairs for everyone, so only the immediate family plus any close friends will get to sit.  The rest will have to stand.”

         After the next ten minutes go by, we pretty much have everything set up.  For both sides, we put reserved seating for the family and friends of Jarl and Annabeth.  Now some of the girls go around and put up all the decorations, ribbons, and flowers.

         Tuffnut then speaks up, “I’ve only crashed one wedding before, but this is the first time I have been invited to a wedding.”

         Snotlout raises his hands, “Don’t look at me.  I’m not the idiot that invited you.”

         Jarl looks at Snotlout.  At first, Snotlout thinks nothing of it, then realizes who he referred to as the idiot.

         “I think I’ll go help with the chefs and the food,” Snotlout declares.

         Tuffnut then sniffs the air, channeling the smell of food towards his nose, “Ah yes, what any viking looks forward to in any event.  The food.  The aroma.  It stimulates the senses.”

         Ruffnut the smacks his head, “Well then get your stimulated butt over here.”

         The rest of the crew disperses a bit to check out any extraneous items that would need to be taken care of before tomorrow.

         Jarl then states, “I better go keep an eye on them.”

         Stoick says, “You do that.  Wouldn’t want to start another war with the Berserkers and Outcasts if they don’t get their food tomorrow.”

         I assure him, “I’m sure it won’t be like that.  Tomorrow is going to have enough pressure on the kids to begin with.  Us adding on to it won’t help much.”

         Stoick chuckles, “They’re not much like kids anymore.”

         I nod as both Stoick and I take a seat on the first two chairs on each side, I am on the left side of the aisle and Stoick on the right, “They grow up so fast, but it is days like tomorrow that bring it all full circle.”

         Stoick sighs, “Hiccup keeps telling me to stop being so much of a chief as tomorrow is Jarl’s and Annabeth’s day, not mine.  But as their Chief, I cannot help see what this could mean for lasting peace between several clans.  Outcasts, Berserkers, Hooligans…  When have all three had lasting peace?”

         I shake my head, “I don’t know, but I know everyone involved is well aware.”  Smiling, I then exaggerate, “What I would like to know is why is The Great Stoick the Vast getting nervous before a wedding?”

         Stoick stands up, “Nervous?  I’ve done countless weddings in my day.  I tend to recall that I did a wedding between a lovely woman and the most nervous viking I have ever seen before a wedding.”

         “Hey no,” I contest.  “That’s a low blow, even coming from you.”

         Stoick stands up holding his hands out, “The Great Sigvald Mollerson The Mighty… Fainted at his own wedding.”

         I can only sigh, “Can I help it if it was a hundred degrees that day and even warmer in here?  Of all the things that never phased me, the thought of marriage being permanent finally dawned on me and it scared me.  Not because I was worried about Svana -though maybe I was more worried about her mother than anything- but if I could be the man that Svana needed me to be.”

         “Aye,” Stoick nods with a slight smile.  I know that smile.  Changing the subject, Stoick starts laughing, “You were as white as Svana’s dress that day.  Some of the men were starting to take bets if you could last the ceremony or not.”

         “They were?” I question.  “I never knew that.”

         “That’s because I put a stop to it,” Stoick told me.  “Besides, I was not going to let you ruin Svana’s day.”  Svana and Valka were best friends.  “When I asked if you were ready, in all your nerves and everything that you were feeling, you put all that aside to go out and stand here,” Stoick stands on the spot where the groom always stands, as this is where all weddings take place.  “Probably one of the bravest things I have ever seen you do.”

         I chuckle and stand up as well, “When you came in, I was not going to be caught dead trying to let you down.”

         “No,” Stoick shakes his head.  “You didn’t want to let Svana down.”  He pauses before slaps my back, “And good thing Svana came in when she did or you would have been flat on your back.  Might want to tell Jarl to eat something.”

         “That’s not what I am totally worried about,” I then laugh.  “I’m worried he might oversleep his own wedding.”

         Stoick and I both burst out laughing.

         Jarl had just come back over, “I heard my name.”

         “Oh, nothing you need to be concerned with,” I tell him.  “Though, it is a good thing that you two decided on an afternoon wedding.”

         “I’m not letting anything stand between me and Annabeth,” Jarl states.  “Why have wedding in the morning anyway?  Sleep in, get a good night’s sleep, and be ready to go by lunch.”

         The rest of the crew started to reconvene and Tuffnut heard what Jarl said.

         “Oh, speaking of which,” Tuffnut said.  “Who would like to bet that Jarl is late to his own wedding?”

         Snotlout and Ruffnut both raised their hands to get in on the action.

         “Wait a second,” I fold my arms.  “It was your father, wasn’t it?  He won the bet, didn’t he?”

         “Pops was always one to win a good bet,” Tuffnut stated as he took offers from Ruffnut and Snotlout.  “But when he did, Stoick often stepped in to stop what he was doing.  The Haddocks always had it in for the Thorstons.”  Tuffnut looks back at Stoick with the expression of seeing an old enemy and then started talking in a dramatic tone, “Just when it looked like a Thorston could take the throne, the one very specific Haddock got married.  All of the Thorstons dreams were dashed in that very moment.  But then, when Hiccup came along, we all relished in the fact that maybe we could one day reclaim what was once ours.”

         Hiccup interjects, “What are you talking about?”

         “I don’t know,” Tuffnut shrugs.  “I’m practicing for what I will do when I crash the wedding tomorrow.”

         Stoick takes a step forward, but Hiccup is on it first, “There will be no crashing of weddings tomorrow.”

         Ruffnut then smacks her brother on the back of the head, “Great job, stupid.  You just announced your plans.”

         “Mark my words,” Tuffnut held his fist up.  “I will crash the party tomorrow and it will be the most epic and most memorable crashing of the party you have ever seen.”

         Hiccup points at Tuffnut, “You will do no such thing, if I can help it.”

         Jarl steps forward and holds Hiccup back, “No, it is okay.  I am intrigued.  Let Tuffnut crash the party.”

         Everyone is a bit stunned, but more so Tuffnut, “Wait, really?”

         “Yes, really,” Jarl nods emphatically.

         Ruffnut is then suspicious and steps up to Jarl as if he is a shady character, “This would not be one of your tricks would it?”

         “Tricks?” Jarl plays innocent.  “Now why would I try to trick the trick masters of them all.”

         Tuffnut joins his sister’s suspicion, “While I agree that we are the number one trick masters of them all, you are just saying that because you don’t want us to crash the wedding.”

         “But isn’t that exactly what someone would say to encourage you to do it?” Jarl further questioned.

         Ruffnut countered, “But that is exactly what someone would say to throw off the person who said they said they were going to crash the wedding.”

         “Yes,” Jarl continues.  “But isn’t that exactly what someone would say to throw off the person to make them think that they were going to stop them from crashing the wedding by having no intention of stopping them but the person would not do it anyway because they thought that the other person thought to think to encourage the thought of crashing a wedding that the person would think that the thought would be no thought at all and thus getting the desired result in the end.”

         The Twins look at Jarl with their mouths open.

         Tuffnut said, “For as much as my sis and I speak in random gibberish, that made… No sense.  Time for supper!”

         Ruffnut then whispers as they turn to exit The Great Hall, “Maybe they should check him to see if he is crazy or not.  I mean, he is totally going to go through with this marriage deal, is he not?”

         No one else had any words but to bid each other, “Goodnight,” while we all parted ways to go back to our homes for supper.

         Upon getting with in the area of our house, the smell of freshly cooked meal comes to us.  Entering, we all see that mother has set the supper table with a big meal for all of us.

         As she returns from the kitchen to set a full chicken in the middle of the table, I put my arm around her and kiss her on the cheek.

         She tilts her head to receive the kiss, then says, “I hope you are all hungry.”

         Asvord smells all the food and sits down at her spot to the left of Jarl, I sit across from them, Elsa to my left, and Svana to my right.  In addition to the chicken, there is a great big bowl of corn, fried apples, fresh bread, and salad with Svana’s special sauce.

         Taking a few minutes to get settle, we start passing the food around and then eat.

         When we are almost done with the meal, notice that Jarl is behind further than he normally is, everyone else is nearly finished.

         Usually, we do not talk much because we are enjoying the food, but to break the silence, I commend, “Svana, it is a glorious meal, very good.”

         “Thank you,” she replied.  “I knew that Asvord would like the apples, Elsa the salad, and Jarl the corn.  While it looks like he has eaten a lot of the corn, he hasn’t touched much anything else.  Are you alright?”

         Jarl nods, “I’m fine.  Just thinking.”

         “Oh, come now,” Asvord declares.  “Don’t tell me you are getting nervous.”

         Jarl assures, “I could not be surer of myself, but I am just not as hungry as I thought I might be.”

         Learning back in my chair, I ask Svana, “Do you remember the night before our wedding day?”

         “Do I,” she gives a sarcastic chuckle.  “After getting The Great Hall situated, much like you guys did tonight, I went home to get the dress ready and your father did much what you are doing tonight.  But the thing was, my mother did not always like your father.  So, that night she had made some food as a gift for him that she had me give to his mother.  Long story short, that food was spicy and did not sit well with your father.  This added to the fact that Sigvald was whiter than even my dress.  But once I came up to him and stood in front of him, he still looked nervous but was steady and the color in his face started coming back to him.”

         I can only shake my head as the rest of my family laughs, though I laugh too, “The reason I bring that up son, is if you are feeling nervous, then it is perfectly find to be feeling that way.  Even if you are sure of something, like not eating any food other than your mother’s cooking, it is okay to feel like something is different.  It can keep you focused on what is right.”

         “Not to take the conversation away too far, but,” Jarl explains, “I guess what I am thinking about is our trip upcoming to the Isle of Izar.  But more specifically, what is Einar’s plan in this?  Why did he intentionally fall on my blade?  Depending on where he fell, it could have been more serious than just a flesh wound.”

         Taking control of the moment, I tell my son, “Einar is trying to get in your head.  But you won’t let him.”

         “No, I will not,” he immediately replies.  “But with my mystery solving brain thinking, it is trying to figure out why?  Einar has something else planned, something else he wants.  I cannot help but think that there is another side of the mystery that none of us; neither Vixxen, nor Einar, nor even Garth, Lilah, and the Izarians.  From what I saw on Shadow Mountain, there is definitely something on the islands in Izar, maybe something that even the Izarians don’t even know.  But one thing is for sure, it is enough for Einar to go to war over.  And if it is something that important, we have to stop him.”

         Svana reaches over and gently grabs Jarl’s wrist, “It will be fine.  With the backing of the Berserkers, the Defenders of the Wing, the Wingmaidens, all your friends… And us… There is nothing that can stand between us and what a victory will take.  No matter what comes our way, we will be with you.”  Svana then stands up, “Speaking of staying with you, I need to be heading over to the Olsons.”

         “Ouch,” I declare.  “Would you like some ice with that burn?”

         “See?” Jarl jokes.  “I told you the sense of humor comes from her.”

         Svana did not have context, so asked for some, “What?” she chuckles as she starts to put on her winter cloak.

         “Oh,” I stand up as I start to clean the table along with Asvord and Elsa.  “Jarl made a crack earlier about where he got his sense of humor from.”

         Svana ties her cloak around her neck and then puts her valkyrie helmet on, “Since I was not there, he no doubt said he got it from me.”

         “Wait,” Jarl stands up to also help with the dishes and cleaning the table.  “How did you know?”

         Svana smiles and then winks at me, “I’m a woman.”

         I sigh but also smile, “That you are.”

         Elsa verbally grunts, “Let’s go Asvord.  Going to a wedding tomorrow is bad enough, especially if it is mine own brother’s, but to see your own mom and dad do… Whatever this is…”

         Asvord pats her little sister on the head, “Young child, you will soon understand.”

         Svana then looks out the window as she flips up her hood, tying that around her neck as well, “Oh, it is starting to snow.  Looks like we will have fresh snow for Snoggletog.”

         Jarl calls out as he and his sisters go into the kitchen, “Be safe.”

         I also am about to go into the kitchen, but first I go over and kiss my love goodbye.

 

Jarl’s Mom, Svana’s Point of View

 

         The brisk cold night air breeze grabs hold of me, but I continue on.  I go to the stables and feed all of dragons an extra helping of fish and make sure everyone is bed down for the night.  I am sure everyone has already done the same for their dragons, yet as I mother, I still care deeply for the dragons too.  I was overjoyed that the men of the tribe finally came to their senses.  However, with how Valka was taken, I could understand how that could instill within Stoick his belief.  I was with Valka earlier in the night she was taken.  With what we now know about dragons and their want to protect and not attack, I fully believe Valka was merely taken.  But where?  Just how one Hiccup Haddock changed the stoick of all minds in his father, this same young mand can find his father.  I know of another young man that found his father.

         One of the reasons that Jarl has never found or seen Annabeth’s dress is because I have kept it in the stables on the top shelf, wrapped up in a blanket in a crate, and underneath Jarl’s old Thunderdrum saddle that he does not use any more.  Right now, it just had Annabeth’s skirt she will wear.  But while I was working on creating and sewing it, I would take it home with me after working at the Olson’s home and Annabeth could try it on and bring the dress back with me.  Always on my way home, I would stop by the marketplace to get another couple of things to mask what I was doing.  Jarl even a couple of times asked if he could help with the crates.  Funny thing is, Jarl helped take the crate that had Annabeth’s dress in it several times.  He was none the wiser.  I would later then go hide the crate on the shelf to again mask that what I bought was used and then I could go get more of whatever Jarl thought I was getting.  I can play at this mystery game too.

         If anyone asked what I was carrying, I would say, “Some food for the pantry and some things to be put in the stables.”  I mean, the dress does have multiple parts, so saying “things” is truthful and I did want to hide the dress in the barn.  No one ever further questioned me on the subject.  If anyone questioned me further, then I would have told them.  If it is one thing at all that I taught my family, it is this:  No matter in what situation, the truth will set you free.  The truth can be your best friend or your worst enemy, but it is still the truth.  If one is truthful in what they do and say, then everyone will know who they can count on.

         As an old sentimental viking that I am, this blanket is the very same blanket that I used to keep warm Jarl when he was a baby.  No one else knows this but me.  This kind of connection is one that I love.  While I want my young man to still be my boy, everything has come full circle and time to take the next step.  My mother did the same with her dress for me and before that, her mother did the same for her.  I think Jarl also got the love for making connections from my side of the family.

         With the snow coming down, it took me a little bit longer to reach the Olson’s home.

         Upon entering the house, I quickly shut the door behind me; I take a deep breath in of the warmth, “Oh my goodness, it is cold outside.”

         Catrine comes over to me to help me with my cloak and helmet, “That’s one thing I do miss from living further south.  While it is still cold in the winter no matter where one goes in this archipelago, the cold here in Berk is not the same cold from our old home.  By the way, Cazi, Bergr Kryson and a few of your old friends are coming in the morning.”

         “Nice,” Cazi says, elated.  “It will be nice to see them after all these years.  Crazy to think about it.  It does not seem like that long ago.”

         Annabeth is in the middle of the room waiting for the dress.  Annabeth takes the crate up to her room to put the dress on.  The first few times, she needed help to put it on.  With practice, she became very good at putting this kind of dress on.

         A few minutes later, Annabeth walks back down the stairs to the living room.  Every time I see her in that dress, she takes my breath away.

         “You are amazing, Annabeth,” I declare.

         “Amazing Annabeth,” Annabeth thinks out loud.  Then outstretching her arms for me to attach the skirt portion that I worked on over the course of the day, but also to imagine the title in letters.  “The Amazing Annabeth.  I like the sound of that.”

         For the text half hour, myself, Catrine, and Cazi finished off all of the sewing that was needed to secure the dress.  Some of the dress had only been held together with pins while I worked on the fitting of the dress and how the skirt would lay on top of the dress as well the cloak cape that is also a train for the over all look.  Once all that was figured out and fixed, all we needed to do was sew it all together.  At this point, most of the sewing was already done.  All that was needed was a few areas that dealt with the skirt on top the dress, so only a half hour was needed.  The entire dress took weeks to do.  With a Snoggletog wedding comes the needed layers, especially with what Annabeth and Jarl have planned for the wedding tomorrow.

         I start to cry as I see the completed dress.

         Annabeth quips, “I hope those are tears of joy, Svana, because if you don’t like something else, we may be here all night.”

         I laugh, as I step forward and give the young woman a hug.  Taking a step back and grabbing her neck to look her square in the eye, I say, “Your father and mother would be so proud of you.”

         Then Annabeth hugged me again.

         When Annabeth stepped back, she began to wipe away the tears from her eyes, saying, “Oh, my.  Oh…  Now you are going to make me cry.”

         Cazi throws up her arms, “We’re all crying at this point.”

         Cazi hugs Annabeth and Catrine also comes in for a hug with Annabeth.

         Annabeth smiles, “I guess this is it.”  She pauses then grabs both of my hands to shake them, “Thank you very much again for making this dress for me.”

         “Oh,” I tell her.  “It was my pleasure at the least I can do.”

         “The least?” Annabeth contends.  “You made me the perfect dress that I wanted.”

         We all bid each other, “Goodnight,” but I give Annabeth a kiss on her forehead, which makes her cry some more, as well as myself and everyone else, and I return home.

         It is still snowing outside, but the wind is starting to calm down and just let the snow float to the ground.

         I find at home only the fire is lit and the kids have gone up to bed.  Therefore, I go up to my children’s room.  Leaning down next to each of their beds, I look at them for a moment, smile, and then kiss them on their foreheads.  Jarl’s eyes are closed, Asvord is not quite asleep yet and acknowledges me and mouths the words, “Goodnight, I love you,” to me, and then Elsa, who is fast asleep.

         As I return to the stairs, Jarl rolls over and calls out to me, “Yes Jarl?”

         I lean down next to him and he puts his right hand on my shoulder and says, “Thank you.”

         I quietly chuckle, “For what?”

         Jarl smiles, “For having you be you, a great mother, with sage advice, and a son that loves you very much.”

         Grinning, I kiss him on the cheek and tell him, “Goodnight, my son.”

         Not sure if he saw it or not or heard the crack in my voice -Who am I kidding, he is the mystery conqueror- but that made me start crying all over again.

         Going downstairs and then across the living room, though I do check the fire to make sure it will stay lit throughout the night.  I plop another log on the fire and stoke it to wake it back up.  Afterwards, I go into the bedroom to find Sigvald making the bed.

         We both go through our routines.

         Then find myself looking into my mirror.

         I am supposed to be brushing my hair that I have just let down, but I stopped.  Sigvald comes over points in my hair, saying, “You missed a spot.”

         That snaps me out wherever I was, but I retort back at him, “Oh, stop it.”

         It dawns on me what I was thinking about, so I get up right then and go over to my hope chest at the foot of the bed.  Kneeling down, I lift the lid, I dig through it, placing things outside on the floor, so I can get to the bottom.  Minute or two later, I am there and I pull out… My wedding dress.

         Sigvald kneels down with me, caresses my shoulders with his hands, and kisses me, “Figured you might get that out.”

         Sigvald looks into the chest and states, “Let’s see what other junk… I mean things you have in here.”

         Sigvald is being particularly sarcastic, maybe he feels left out that he is not to the level that Jarl and I are at with regards to humor.  But I shall humor him.  While my dress sits in my lap, I look through the things in my hope chest.

         Everything that we get out brings back a flood of memories to a variety of things.  Early birthdays for the children, things they wore when they were babies.  Different things that I have kept over the years, pairs of socks from each of my children when they out grew them.  Guess this family was destined to be somehow connected to socks, seeing how Jarl’s first mystery was about socks.  I have kept mementos from each of Jarl’s mysteries.  The journals that he has kept, he always makes two copies.  One for himself and his notes, then one for me.

         Looking at the dress again, I then sit back, lowering the dress to my lap, I ask Sigvald, “What am I doing?”

         “You’re being a mother,” states Sigvald.

         “By looking at my wedding dress and the things in here?” I question.

         Sigvald looks at me, “By thinking of your children and coming to grips that two are nearly grown and one is fully grown into a mature viking.  I don’t know what else to say but to say you are being a mother.”

         I stand up and lay the dress in front of me, “How do I look?”

         Sigvald gets a suspicious smile on his face, “I probably shouldn’t say this… You look… Old.”

         I throw a solid right cross to his stomach.

         Sigvald calls back, “Hey… I’m old too.”

         “You deserved that,” I tell him.

         He chuckles, “I did.”

         I kneel back down to put the things back in the hope chest, Sigvald assists me, but I keep my dress out.

         Once I close the lid, Sigvald informs, “I got out my groom outfit I wore.  It does not fit me, but it still has the one stain from when we fought over shoving cake in each other’s faces.”

         I laugh, “Really?  Still has the stain, eh?  Then it is a sad reminder of the failure you are at defending yourself.  I so totally got the best of you then.”

         Sigvald nods, but he sighs, “Yes, you did.  For as civil and proper as that was supposed to be, it was anything put.  Surprised we did not start an all-out food fight.”

         “I would have beaten the snot of out of you then,” I tell him.

         “But not in that dress,” Sigvald says.  “You wouldn’t have wanted to get it dirty.  Besides, we settled who was the better fighter later that day.”

         I shake my head, still in disbelief, “For as gentle you are as a husband, if it comes down to a competition, you do everything you can to win.”

         “What can I say?” Sigvald smiles, as he helps me to stand.  “I won our first fight.  Granted, it was with swords, but who pays attention to details.”

         I smile, as I turn to walk to the back room, “I seem to recall that you had to fight against me when I was hypnotized, yet was the incapacitated and the fight was never finished.  Not that I nearly killed our son, but as you say, who pays attention to details.”

         The reason why I go into the back room is to see if my wedding dress does actually fit me.

         A few minutes go by, I exit the room and reveal to Sigvald that I can in fact still fit in the dress, “A little snug around the waist, but otherwise, I still fit.”

         “While I may not look the part,” Sigvald looks at his clothes.  He then bows and kisses my hand, “My have this dance?”

         I smile as he leads me in a dance that really is just us stepping around in a circle.  After only a moment, I then rest my head on his chest and he lowers his head over my head.

         We lose track of time, but we decide sometime later that we should not dance the night away.  I change and put my dress back in the chest, but this time on top.  We need to get some sleep and be ready for tomorrow.  Though with the wedding being tomorrow, who will get any sleep tonight?

 

Note from Annabeth’s Point of View

 

         Finally, ready for sleep after staying up for a few hours talking with Cazi about memories of all kinds, going over how long it has been and what is about to happen.

         But now I lay in my bed looking straight up, wide awake.  While I may have a million things to think about, my thoughts are only about Jarl.

         I do not know how much time passes, but the rays of moonlight strike through the window and dance across the ceiling.

         As if something were caressing my heart, I put my hand to mine and say, “I love you, Jarl.”

         Shortly after that, I fall asleep.

 

Note from Jarl’s Point of View

 

         Elsa’s snoring and Asvord is fast asleep.

         With that is going on with a number of things, I thought that might keep me up, but that is not it.  While I am still thinking, I am only thinking about Annabeth.  I just lay in my bed with my left arm tucked behind my head, I stare straight up.

         A good amount of time passes, yet I feel I am about to fall asleep.

         Before I do, I notice the light coming in through the window.

         “The moon must have finally broken through the clouds,” I thought,” I tell myself.  “I wonder if it is as quiet outside as it is in here.  Well, besides the snoring.  It isn’t the worst, but it is noticeable.”

         I close my eyes and focus, placing my hand over my heart, I whisper aloud, “I love you, Annabeth.”