“Are you sure about this?” Baymore whispered into Ramora’s ear. Of course she was sure about it. Why wouldn’t she be? She gave him a look that conveyed all of this and he laughed quietly. “Alright. I’m just checking, you know, just in case eternity is too much for you.”
“Oh please.” She replied rolling her eyes. “If anyone should be worried about eternity, it should be the one who asked to marry a storm.”
“But you are my storm and I love you.” Baymore whispered brushing his hand across her cheek, smiling as a soft sizzling was emitted by his touch. He pulled her close to him placing his lips gently on hers. Ramora melted into his kiss, wrapping her arms around his neck. Baymore tangled his fingers in her dark wavy hair deepening the kiss and pulling her as close to him as he could not wanting to let her go, and she didn’t want him to.
“A-hem.” The sound of someone’s throat clearing snapped them back to reality. They clung to one another as if one of them were to let go they would disappear. Baymore leaned his forehead against Ramora’s gazing into her gray eyes. He swore if you watched them long enough you could see the rainstorms building there. She ran her fingers across his neck, cradling it in her hands. “Can you two focus on anybody but yourselves for five more minutes?”
“Sorry, Nadia.” Ramora laughed. She had a laugh like a brook that bubbled happily in her throat. “Please continue.”
“Finally.” Nadia sighed in exasperation as they continued their incessant fawning. She wasn’t bitter about their relationship by an means. After months of the two acting like this she had seen enough at this point. “Baymore, Ramora, you have chosen to bind your lives to one another. Being that your lives are never ending, this means that not only is this eternal, but because you are drinking from the waters of time there will be consequences should you chose to split the bond. You understand what this means correct?”
Ramora nodded seriously. When they had talked about this at first, she hadn’t been sure. Normally this was only done with one’s soulmate when it came to the gods. She had seen mortals perform this ceremony every day. People so in love with their lovers that they wished to make it a relationship to last forever. Yet she had seen some of them walk away from one another without consequence. It was different for her and the man standing across from her.
Once they drank the sacred waters, Ramora would be tethered to Baymore for eternity. They would never truly be able to sever the ties they shared. The tether itself would need to be broken which could cause their soul to shatter, but even after they had spoken with the only immortal to break that tie and seeing what it could do to them, they had decided to go through with it anyway.
Baymore looked at his bride. Fire danced behind his honey colored eyes and smoldered in his black hair. Trails of smoke wove themselves through the two braids that sat tightly to the side of his head stretching from his temples to the back, keeping the longer slicked back strands on top, from the bare skin below. His eyebrows rose on his forehead silently asking one last time.
Ramora responded with a sharp nod and a look that asked if he was having second thoughts. “Of course not.” he whispered back to her. “I can’t imagine my life without you.”
“Nor mine without you.”
“Just remember, Gods marrying Gods, if you make a definite split it could kill you.” Nadia said bluntly.
“NADIA!” The man who had been standing silently behind Ramora scolded the petite blond, wild haired girl.
“Shush, Alex.” she shot back. “We have all been thinking it. Why do you think I’ve never done this?”
“Because you are a bitter old woman who hates love and all things happy?”
“No, because we aren’t mortals. We don’t have the luxury of walking away from this unscathed.”
“I understand and I accept the consequences.” Ramora stated firmly, interrupting their spat.
“I understand and accept them as well.” Baymore mirrored her tone.
“Then if you both enter this binding willingly, knowing how things could end, then please bring forward the cups.” Nadia said.
Alex snapped his fingers inspecting his nails for dirt on his free hand. Two vines slithered across the ground, shining gold cups wrapped in their grasp. They wrapped their way up and around Baymore and Ramora’s legs and torsos coming to a rest with the cups in front of them in offering. The couple accepted them wrapping their fingers around the chased surfaces. Ramora patted the vine, thanking it softly as it receded freeing her from its grasp.
“All that’s left is to drink.” Nadia said.
“And not the good kind.” Alex chimed in, slightly annoyed.
Nadia rolled her eyes and flicked her wrist at the apathetic earth god. A tiny tornado swirled to life sweeping Alex up and with a surprised yelp it dumped him into the pool of water behind them.
The Waters of Time roared next to Alex, a towering waterfall with no apparent source that fed the pool that Alex now floated in. The waters collected in the pool before cascading down to the mortal world into the Grove of Gods. The Grove was sacred in the mortal realm as it was the only place to be touched by the Waters of Time.
Baymore took Ramora’s hand walking her over to the edge of the waterfall. Mist landed on his arm sizzling away in tiny wisps of steam. Together they reached their cups into the water, filling them as much as the falling water would allow. They clinked the gold rims together before linking their arms and holding them to their lips reciting their vows.
“I take you, Baymore as my husband. Forever and always.”
“I take you, Ramora as my wife. For eternity and there after.”
With that they drained the liquid from the cups. Baymore winced as it slid down his throat, feeling the magic course through his veins sinking into him. Ramora giggled across from him as the magic spread through her like fire, glowing across her skin in what looked like tiny flashes of lightning. Baymore smiled, watching as she giggled trying to see where the magical waters had merged with those that resided within her. The magic that had felt like needles pricking him as it dealt with the embers in him, pooled into his left wrist and dissipated. As he realized, Ramora turned to her right wrist itching away the final tickle of the waters.
“Oh!” the exclamation escaped Baymore’s lips as he turned his attention to his wrist. An ocean had appeared on his skin. When he touched the surface ripples formed where his fingers sat. Ramora came closer looking at the bit of ocean in his skin. She held her wrist level with his, showing him the flame that crackled happily there.
“A piece of you.” She said in loving awe as a phoenix emerged from the flame and began to chase a water dragon, that had poked his head out of the water, across her and Baymore’s arms.
“It’s you soul.” Nadia broke through their awe stricken silence. “That’s part of what makes this so dangerous.”
“What do you mean?” Alex asked from where he was lazily floating in the pool still.
“When you choose to bind to someone, like we have, you give them a physical piece of your soul.” Ramora replied showing him the flame in her skin. “We knew that’s how the bond formed, but we didn’t realize it would manifest like this.”
“Well I’ll be damned.” He said pulling himself onto the grass. “I’ve seen it all now. Well I thought I had seen it all when the God of Fire and the Goddess of Water said they were going to get hitched, but sucking out a part of their souls to do so…now that’s something.”
“So when are you and Nadia tying the knot?” Baymore jabbed playfully, winking at Alex. Nadia snorted dryly.
“Oh please.” He replied rolling his eyes dramatically. “You know I have no preferences in regards to my lovers, but even a blind man could see Nadia is not even close to my type.”
“And I’m bitter remember?” Nadia added sarcastically. She yawned stretching her arms over her head. “I don’t know about you guys, but I’m hungry.”
“Me too. Are the plants ripe in the grove yet?”
“Oh! I don’t know, but berries do sound good.” Nadia waved her hand over the pool revealing an image of the grove below in the surface. “We can take a look and if not it looks like there are food offerings to us at the holly.”
“Let’s go then, I’m starving.” Alex licked his lips hungrily, glancing over his shoulder as he walked away as if suddenly remembering the newly wed couple. “You two coming along?”
“No, you guys go ahead.” Ramora replied. She leaned into the palm of the hand Baymore had used to push a loose hair behind her ear, all the while ignoring the disgusted looks and griping coming from Nadia and Alex as they left. From the corner of her eye she could see the water dragon happily circling up and down her husband’s arm. She laid her hand over his and the phoenix joined flying around one another.
“I love you, Ramora.” Baymore whispered smiling softly.
“And I you.” She smiled back at him pulling her eyes from the creatures playing across their arms. “Forever and always.”
“Forever and always.” He repeated as he pulled her close and kissed his wife for the first time.
I can’t do this anymore
I know, but you know we can’t.
Because I might die?
Then what do we do?
Nadia sat up with a gasp. She always hated getting premonitions in her sleep, they always left her with a splitting headache. She shook her head trying to clear the pain from it so she could make sense of what little she had heard. The voices had sounded so familiar to her.
“SHIT!” She exclaimed standing straight up whacking her head on a branch hanging down over her bed that she hadn’t remembered being there when she had gone to sleep. She had realized who the voices belonged to and she knew it couldn’t result in anything good. “ALEX! GET YOUR BUTT IN HERE!”
“What? I was already up when you started swearing.” Alex came strolling in holding a plate of fruit and cheese. “Premonition?”
Nadia nodded taking food from his plate. “Wait is this my food? Come on. I told you that you could crash here tonight, but that didn’t include food.”
“So what had you swearing so badly?” He asked ignoring her and continuing to eat what was on his plate. He noticed the branch hanging over her bed and snapped his fingers raising it up well above the head board. “Whoops. Sorry I thought I put that back.”
“Baymore.” Nadia started and stopped. Alex gaped at her grapes hanging in the air midway to his mouth. “And Ramora.”
“What about them?” He dropped the fruit onto the plate and set it down on the edge of the bed.
“I can’t do this any more.” Nadia recited mimicking Ramora’s voice.
“Oh that’s not good.”
“No, no it’s not.”
“What do we do? We can’t just let-”
“We have to. Alex, you know once I see it, that’s it.”
“Yep. All we can really do is wait and hope to us that I don’t dream the end of the world.” Nadia sighed sitting heavily on the bed. The plate bounced up and clattered to the floor, but neither God bothered to look at it as they sat silently digesting what was to come.