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Stories from the Verse
Garden of Versers
Chapter 123: Brown 178
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Previous chapter: Chapter 122: Beam 36
That was the way Vashti told Derek to address her father. He had been introduced as “Derek Jacob Brown, twice-honored hero of the Caliphate,” and had approached somewhat nervously. Vashti’s father was in the city because of the death of Amir Ahmed, so this was the time, his opportunity to do what needed to be done.
“Derek Jacob Brown. Is it true that you can change into a sprite, and a gargoyle?”
He smiled. “Yes, your excellency. I would be happy to demonstrate, if you would like.”
“I would be most fascinated; but that is not why you have come, I think.”
Sobering a bit, Derek said, “No, your excellency. I have come to ask permission to marry your daughter Vashti. I believe she loves me, and I certainly love her. I realize it is no small thing to ask. It is the nature of my life that I might leave without a moment’s notice, and take her with me with no time to say goodbye to family, and might never return. It is a dangerous life that has fallen my lot, but I always live.”
“She has agreed?”
Derek nodded. “Yes, your excellency.”
“I understand that she almost died in the market when Calipha Rathi was kidnapped, and that you saved her life.”
“I would not say so. I asked my God the King to save her, and He did. Besides, she took that blow protecting me, so I had to do something.”
“Still, I think she owes her life to you, and I also owe her life to you, so if she would pay that debt by giving her life to you, I cannot object. We will plan a wedding.”
There was a squeal from the side of the room, and both Derek and the Amir turned their attention to see Vashti looking quite excited.
“You love him, yes?” the Amir asked her.
“Yes, father, I love him very much.”
“Good. May you be happy. I know you have quarters in the palace, but we will also prepare rooms for you here and at our own palace, so you may stay with us whenever your duties to the Caliph and Calipha permit.”
“Thank you, excellency,” Derek said.
“Ah, thank me by doing well by my daughter.”
“I will, sir,” he said, and then looked around uncomfortably. “May I go now?”
“Indeed you may,” the Amir said, “but please join us for dinner today. I should like to meet my new son less formally.”
Derek bowed acknowledgement, and headed for the door, Vashti rushing to join him as he did so. “I guess I need to clean up for dinner,” he said.
“I’ll show you where,” she answered, and began the tour of her father’s manor.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twelve other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #316: A Gather World. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: