SynopsisAdelia has no one to blame for her heartache. She’d been cautioned, many times and by many people. Everyone except her mother had told her it was folly to marry an elf, citing a host of reasons. Adelia knew their warnings were not unfounded. She knew he was very different from her and her kind, he was much older, and he’d had five other wives before her. She didn’t care. She had chosen her path.
This is a short, very charming piece with a fairy tale feel. Our heroine, Adelia, is the sixth wife of elven knight, Ametar. No, he’s not Bluebeard or Henry the Eighth for that matter. Since he is extremely long-lived he simply outlives his mortal wives. He married the first one because he felt sorry for her – he wished to give her ease and comfort from an extremely unpleasant situation. He fell deeply in love with her but lost her to sudden illness nine years later. He was devastated.
He tried to recapture the happiness and love he had had with Hannah with wives two and three but chose badly. He was more successful with wives four and five but suffered all the more when they aged and died. He had no plans for another mortal wife, in fact, the elven priest has repeatedly pressured him to find an elven woman with whom he could share the centuries. But he met Adelia and fell in love…
Adelia, who married him at eighteen, loves him deeply – as deeply as he loves her. Being surrounded by the cool and eternally beautiful elves was always difficult for her and now she is aging. At the start of the story she is seventy-five and looks like his grandmother. He tries to reason with her:
“You do realize looks are deceiving, don’t you? I am not staying young, I only appear so. I am not younger than you are; I am much, much older, with all sorts of scars and burdens inside. My body may not show my age, but it’s there all the same. You don’t need to hide from me just because your body works differently.”
But it is to no avail, she chooses to retire to another location with her memories for company for whatever time remains to her.
Ametar is called to assist with some rescued captives and in so doing finds a friend who he thought long dead. A friend who mentions an obscure rite, one that would tie her lifeline to his… A rite the priest who claimed to be his friend had neglected to mention ‘for his own good’.