The four-hour drive to the spaceport was threatening to be a very subdued trip, but Patricia, with her wonderful instinct, changed all that. At first she began to talk; she told me all about making the things in her trunk and about her time spent away from me in the village and about all the people she had met. Somewhere along the way, her hand found its way into mine and then a little later she was snuggling close. All thoughts of the friends I was leaving behind for the rest of my life were washed from my mind by the first tender kiss that was oohh so long overdue.
The spaceport arrived rather suddenly after that, and I was forced to compose myself at least long enough to reach our ship. Much to my delight, I found out that our ship was a small shuttle; there would be no PTS boost this trip.
The crew took over responsibility for Patricia’s trunk (I did manage to remember to unglue it – barely) while I carried her across the threshold of the shuttle.
“This isn’t our home, Liam,” she said, as she snuggled close under my chin.
“Hush,” I said. “It’s a threshold. That’s close enough for now. I’ll just have to keep trying until I get it right.”
She giggled and wrapped herself around me. We scarcely made it to our quarters.
The crew left us in the shuttle after docking with the emperor’s ship, which was fine with me and we spent the time getting to know each other very, very well.
Though I wasn’t quite a virgin, I might as well have been, because it was all so incredibly different then last time, there was no comparison. I even found ways to use my magic as well, much to Patricia’s delight. Once that was started, she came up with more ideas. By the time we reached Cambay, she had become quite adept at manipulating my magic.
Mother saw to it that we had a much more traditional wedding and reception, but all her efforts didn’t interrupt the honeymoon already well underway.
Since the emperor had supplied his ship for my journey, I was surprised that he wasn’t here for this wedding at least, but I guess, since I had his ship, he wasn’t going anywhere until I got back with it. Somehow, I couldn’t see him getting on a liner, and even though he was the emperor, I seriously doubt that he had more than one ship, though I could be wrong.
In keeping with my promise, I carried Patricia across every single threshold into every single place that might remotely qualify as ‘home’ (i.e. it had a bed) and every time ended in much the same delightful way. The baronial palace has a lot of rooms.
After a month of festivities, my mother sent me on back to the emperor. After all, it was obvious I was supposed to go, since I still had his ship.
The last leg of the trip lasted five months and a handful of days; the emperor’s ship was no space liner restricted to established space lanes. It was too short for me, but all things must come to some sort of an end. I did my best to make sure that only the traveling ended.