Terms of Endearment

to my Isabelle

1. Terms of Celebration

There was a kind of rushing outside of her chambers. People were walking from one part of the palace to another, running, screaming and racing.
Their steps left insufferable sounds in the halls which echoed all along the way to her rooms.
Tamina froze. It was warm, just as usual. But she froze and her skin broke out in goose bumps for a moment. Then it was over.

One of her servants entered the chamber announcing something she did not listen to. She was staring at her mirror, remembering the first words Dastan talked to her in private.
They were sweet, and friendly. He would make a good – no, an adorable husband.
But she feared it.
She feared being locked up in a golden cage within her own palace or his. She feared being someone's wife, and not herself, Tamina, Princess of Alamut.
And she feared that love would avoid her forever. And this was her greatest fear.

People had always taught her to be the keeper of the dagger.
Not a woman, who would be married happily ever after. And she had accepted it. She accepted it to be alone until the end of her days. But deep inside her heart, she kept a small flame of hope. Hope, that someday, someone would crawl inside her heart and claim space.

"Daydreaming, Princess?"

She startled up.
There he was, standing right behind her, grinning into the mirror as usual.

"How dare you Dastan?" she answered furious, letting go of the brush she was holding to strengthen her hair a bit.

"Aren't you busy with the arrangements?"

"Well, I should at least be able to see my affianced on the evening of my wedding." He grinned and bit into an apple, still watching her trough the mirror.
They were silent for a while.

"Prince, is there something special you want to talk about? 'Cause if not, I would prefer getting reading to marry you." She grinned maliciously and crossed her arms above her blue wedding-garment.
Dastan stopped eating and put the apple aside while he grasped her brush with the other hand and started brushing her hair slightly.

"Do you remember what I've told you the day we first met?" He knew she wouldn't be able to answer correctly. But this way time had taken once, before he bumped the dagger into the sandglass had been erased.
That time wasn't their time. Now was their time. Everything else was gone, no matter how hard he wished her to remember at least the good parts of their mutual journey.

"Of course." She shook her head. She wasn't stupid.


"You told me, that we don't know each other that well, but that there will be a time when we will. You said that you are looking forward to that." A small smile appeared on her lips probably the first today.

"Yes. And tonight, I'm here to assure you of this again. You will have as much time and space as you need and no one will force you or ask things you don't want to do." He didn't look at her silently.
For one moment Tamina lost all her fears and sorrows.
She was here with him tonight. He was chosen to be her husband and companion.
And maybe, if she was lucky, the gods would be graceful and he was the one, she would learn to love.

She knew what he meant and nodded.
"Fine. So let's get married." He grinned again and she laughed shortly but with all her face and voice. She slapped him softly and looked at him trough her mirror.

Her laughter was the sweetest sound he'd ever heard in his entire life. He couldn't remember her laughing like this during their journey and from this moment on he made it his personal mission to make her laugh like this more often.
He was in love with her.
He was sure of it for quite a while. He started looking at her in another way during their pause in the middle of the sandstorm. But he couldn't mark the exact time after this day, when he realized that he was deeply in love with this little priss who complicated his life so much.
When he saw her again on the throne, knowing that his brother was about to ask her to marry him, it broke his heart. Having her by his side, but never really belonging to her would have killed him.
So he was most thankful man in the world when he recognized that Tus had something different in mind than marrying her himself.

And now there were here, in the early evening of the wedding day. Not knowing what future might bring but with certain, strong feeling it couldn't be too bad.

The servant entered the room again disturbing the comfortable atmosphere which had been developed between the young adults. Dastans presence was asked by his brothers, and so he bowed, smiled at his fiancée and left the room.

Tamina was alone again, looking into her mirror. She sighed.
This was crazy.

The wedding was a rather big and exuberant festival attended by many partisan aristocrats, governors and merchants.
Tamina didn't get see her husband that often after the ceremony had ended. She looked at the drinking and eating, celebrating and laughing crowd sitting on a couch at the sidelines of the fest together with her servants and some other women, new and old relatives she had never come to see before.

She got more and more bored by the not ending turmoil and noise. She tried to look out for Dastan, but wasn't able to find him between all the people. A little lost and tired she stood up and stretched her legs under the long dress. She was wearing a golden crown that was extremely tweaking her scalp. Suddenly she felt uncomfortable and tense. I disliked what she saw: Men, drinking and eating in the holy halls of her city, Persian men, disgusting men.

She guessed this was exactly how Dastan liked it. How all Persians like it: Huge feasts with never ending alcoholic drinks and food. She was sure he was enjoying it a lot.

Tamina left the scenery in a hurry, leaving all the celebrating people behind her. She didn't even hear much them after servants had closed the heavy doors of the main hall behind her and she was pleased be the silence of the floors. She didn't turn around only once.

Her chambers were deserted. She had asked the attendants to leave and attend the festivity for she would have her chambers for her own. She very seldom had time to share alone though this was something she definitely enjoyed during her sometimes stressful all-day-activities. She let herself fall on her feathery bed and let out a loud sigh while she closed her eyes and tried to think of nothing.

"Someone else who isn't that much into celebrating a lot."

She startled up within a second just to find her husband sitting on the steps to the balcony. He grinned and deposited his cup of wine next to him on the second step then he turned to her.

"What are you doing here, this is your bash out there." She asked.

"It's also yours and you're here too." He grinned again.

"Das-tan!" she said with an angry and annoyed sound in her voice.

"I don't like that. I mean, I once liked it but now it is just… drinking men celebrating something that the main person of their celebration doesn't even enjoy." He didn't look her in the eyes when he told it. It was true. Celebrating wasn't what he was up to during the last few days. He still felt a bit dizzy and left alone with a lot of questions about the sandglass and the dagger, time and Tamina of course, even if he tried to hide it.

Tamina was stunned. She had waited for another silly joke, but this honesty was so unusual.

"So I took a bit of everything," He raised a bowl filled with grapes from his other side and pointed at the wine he had taken, "and searched for a nice place which appeared to be the last step to your balcony."

Tamina slowly moved towards him, taking of her heavy crown and placing it on a chair next to her bed. She then settled down opposite him on the steps and took one of the grapes from the bowl.
For a while no one said anything. They shared the grapes and looked into the slowly settling sun and the beautiful city beneath them.

"Do you think they'll recognize that the bridal pair is not longer taking part in their wedding celebration?" Tamina grinned after a while.

"No." he just answered and grinned turning his face to her.

Hello everyone.
This is my second ENGLISH fan fiction.
As you surely have mentioned, I'm not a mother-tongue speaker and I'm so sorry for all the mistakes. I read through this story three times and hope that there aren't that many mistakes.
I've written many German fan fictions for the German pendant-website to this; so I'm used to fan fictions but not to English ones. I love your language and this is a good way to practice some writing skills ;)

I hope you enjoyed this and will keep reading the following chapters.
If you have any questions and corrections, please feel free to ask me.

Greetings, Magnolie