Edouard lifted the veil from her face and kissed her, gently and passionlessly. Those assembled
for the occasion were applauding discreetly. The priest looked on, solemn in his black robes,
heavy wool despite the sweltering heat.
Her mother had been furious to find out that she would not be wearing the dress, the white embroidered dress that it had cost them so much to have made; but once she explained that she no longer had it, there was nothing to be done. She was married in a dress of expensive Thai silk that she had owned for years.
And after all, had she not done enough for her family already? She was giving them her life; was a white dress for Stephan too much to ask in return? He should have it, she had told him, for when he eventually married - for she knew that he would, despite his protestations that he could never love another as much as he loved her. She gave him the dress, because his love for her was as much an obligation as her betrothal to Edouard, and she understood necessity.