Leonas looked up to find Lovisa frowning at him. “Hello,” he greeted before returning his gaze to his book.

A soft sound of protest escaped him as the book was tugged out of his hands. “Leo,” Lovisa said. “We’re free. You don’t have to write a history of Seska anymore. Why don’t you relax?”

“For me this is relaxing,” Leonas said softly. “Give me back my book.”

“No, tomorrow you and Henryk are getting married formally and today you and I are going into town to get you ready,” she protested. She slipped a sheet of paper into the book to hold Leonas’s place, then dragged him out of the room.

“I’m a boy,” Leonas reminded her softly. “I’m not getting dolled up for the wedding. I’m going to wear formal scholar’s robes and… you aren’t listening.”

“Just because you’re a boy doesn’t mean you can’t get your hair done nice and let yourself be pampered a bit,” Lovisa said. “There’s a spa that the local inn runs that people from miles around come for.”

“Then I very much doubt they’ll be able to take us today,” Leonas said, trying to get away from the strong willed woman.

Giggling softly Lovisa shook her head. “You won’t get away that easily,” she said as she led him into the inn. Leonas could tell by the reception they got that they were expected.

He tried not to enjoy the pampering that Lovisa insisted he get. It wasn’t exactly masculine to enjoy people soaking his feet and hands in softening creams and making his hair and nails shine. In the end, the small part of him that was vain won out.

He smiled at his reflection as the woman assigned to him finished cutting his hair. It was no longer shaggy. The bob style that he usually wore was now neat and tidy. Any locks that were out of place were artfully made to be that way.

“You had fun,” Lovisa sang softly as they walked out of the building.

“I suppose,” Leonas said softly, gazing at himself in the reflection of a shop window. “I should get back to work.”

“Dinner,” Lovisa said softly, guiding him to a little bistro. “They have noodles and veal and… you can eat veal, right?”

“But… they’re baby cows…” Leonas trailed off, though he was nodding.

“We’ll have the chicken then,” Lovisa said. “We’ll have dinner and then you can go back home and rest for the night. No working. Find something fun to do.”

“Research is fun…”

Star-gazing is more fun,” Henryk said from behind him. Leonas spun around and smiled at his intended. “You look so handsome, kocha. I can hardly wait for tomorrow. May I join you?”

“Sure, the more the merrier,”Lovisa said. Then, with a sly look on her face, she added, “though I thought you weren’t supposed to see the bride until after the wedding.”

“Bride!” Leonas snapped. “I’m… I’m not a bride. I’m a boy.”

“We can’t both be the groom, kocha,” Henryk teased. He kissed Leonas on the nose and said, “I’ll be the bride.”

Leonas giggled and shook his head. He took a bit of the noodles that the waitress brought and after he’d swallowed pointed his fork at Henryk and said, “You think I’m going to protest that you are a warrior and shouldn’t be the bride, but I am not. Instead, I will allow that we cannot both be grooms, but add that since we are not technically human and this is not technically a normal wedding that technically, there is neither bride nor a groom.”

Henryk grinned and chewed thoughtfully on a bite of chicken before adding, “Father Christien will pronounce us man and wife though.”

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