I was going to write down what's happened, wasn't I? I've got an hour or so before I set off for my new House's city residence, so here goes. But before I start, let's just remind everyone that the Emperor is insane. I am not talking 'idiosyncratic' or something quaint like that here. I am talking truly, totally, unrepentently KeRaZy!!!
Against this backdrop imagine, me: Lady Imogen Ghiaci: unmarried, unfashionable and bored, which is bad, because it means I was looking for something to do. Bad move!
Imagine also Lord Mares Dovir: unmarried, eligible, politically slightly dangerous (what with all the rumours about his House being alien sympathisers and all that goes with that -- slightly radical, very liberal, I can just imagine my poor Father's Conservative shock-horror expression. Really do need to talk to him...). Anyway, Mares, it turns out, is also a bit of an idealist. And he is really rather cute. No make that, 'he's very cute'.
So there we were at opposite ends of the throne room, when the Emperor wheels out his new toy -- some Narn (one of their bigfans they hadn't expected to catch, but now they have him) and proceeds to attempt to humiliate him. But the creature is very proud, and the Emperor is getting frustrated and the teasing/torturing is getting worse, to no avail.
Anyway, I spotted Mares on the other side of the room, and he looked really outraged (and kind of green) at what was going on. I just hoped that the Emperor wouldn't spot, because he can get quite insane (I did mention, didn't I?) and does things like chop courtiers' heads off and puts them on his desk -- or so they say -- if he's displeased with them.
I decided to play the hero, didn't I? I decided to get Mares out of there, because he looked so miserable. I tried to catch his eye and when he did, I flicked my fan shut and mouthed for him to keep looking at me, and he must have understood, because he didn't take his eyes off me again until we made it outside.
When I reached him, I told him to pretend that we were flirting, because I'd seen other girls do exactly that a dozen times before with guys they liked. You know, flirt outrageously, then withdraw more or less discretely. It seemed like the best idea at the time. He seemed really grateful and played along rather too well, as it later turned out...
I shuffled us out into the garden, and because we were being watched, I kissed him until they left us to it. At first he seemed so surprised, I thought he was going to blow our cover, but eventually he just went with the flow. And when we had to come up for breath, as it were, he asked me who, in the Underworld, I was and why I'd helped him get out. It was quite funny really, he didn't know much about what was being said about him at court, so I filled him in on some of the details. Poor Mares. Either he's very naive, or he *pretends* he is very well. We shall see.
He did ask me if I wasn't worried about ruining my reputation by being seen with him. I just laughed. At that point I still thought that it would blow over faster than Lake Giordan in a winter storm. Except, of course, it didn't.
I was surprised to be asked to have breakfast with the Emperor the next morning, but didn't really think anything of it apart from 'how strange'. Mares was there, too. Equally surprised but more worried, I think. And then the Emperor started talking about how convenient it was that neither I nor Mares were married, how 'neat' that was, and how he'd had such a wonderful idea to do something nice to take his mind of that 'vexing Narn' -- and he married us on the spot.
So, imagine me now: Lady Imogen *Dovir* packing her stuff and getting ready to move to her new Household (Mares won't be able to come with me for a day or so, because the Emperor wants him here for something...). My family will find out about this through the newspapers before I get a chance to speak with them. Argh!
Ah, here's Inigo (Mares' bodyguard) who's to take me to the Dovir townhouse. At least, none of his family should be there at the moment -- they usually stay at some estate two hours' drive from the Capital. I hope I'll get a chance to talk about all this getting married stuff with him, before I have to deal with them. Time to go...