Larissa stood on a grassy hill, looking over the valley at the distant lightening which flashed over the ancient city. Thunder like thousands of drums, echoed over the land.

'The gods are angry tonight.'

Larissa turned in shock to find Joshua standing behind her. She had not even heard his approach.
'Yes,' she replied, musing.

'Such beauty.' commented Joshua, about the storm.

'And power.' Larissa added. She loved watching storms at night, loved the purity and clarity of the air, the moments when for just a fraction of a second the lightening would illuminate the sky, colour would return and one could get a glimpse of some universal truth - but only for a second.

Suddenly, a thunder clap as loud as a stampede of elephants rent the sky in two, spilling rain in sheets upon the earth.

'We should go,' Joshua commented, 'It's freezing and wet, you'll catch frostbite!'

'Don't exaggerate,' Larissa chided her friend, 'one more moment...'

She was waiting, waiting for the lightening to light up the sky once more. It did - a beautiful tableau was spread before them, viewed through a veil of rain, the valley like an emerald blanket, the silver river winding its way down the centre, the marble city perched on its bank. A moment in eternity, an eternal moment. Standing once more in the dark Larissa felt a strange sense of loss. Hugging herself too kept out the cold she now felt she murmured, 'Let's go,' and descended the hill into the next valley, not looking behind her to see if Joshua followed.

**********

Church bells rang, echoing off the hillsides. Larissa laughed in pure happiness, 'They'll hear us in the city!!'

'And they'll be sharing in our celebration, my love.' Joshua replied, happy because she was happy.

'Look!' came a voice, 'the happy couple, are we excited for today...and tonight!'

Larissa blushed.

'Go away, Edmund, you have your own wife to...look after.' Joshua reprimanded his brother good-naturedly.

He turned back to his bride, 'I must go, it is almost time.' but she did not seem to hear. She had that same look she had worn so many years ago during the storm, the night he had realised that they were no longer just friends.

Placing a large, calloused hand on her shoulder he asked in concern, 'Larissa, are you well.'

She shook her head as if clearing it from a fog, 'Yes, fine.' she replied distractedly. Larissa knew she had always been different, there were moments when she thought she could grasp it if she just reached a little further but eventually the feeling had gone away. Strange that it returned now, the day of her wedding. She smiled, remembering how, when she was younger her imagination had interpreted her difference as proof of royalty, but of course, that was just wishful thinking and wishful thinking couldn't erase the memories of her mother's murder at the hand's of her megalomaniac father, the sight of her mothers body looking like a discarded puppet burned forever into her mind. No, this marriage would be different; she would not make the same mistakes her parents had.

She brushed the stray thoughts from her head and focused instead on the hours to come. Timidly she began her solo journey down the aisle of the church wondering if this was truly real or merely someone's idea of a sick comedy.

She reached the altar and stood beside her fiancé. He took her hand in his, gently squeezing it to comfort her. Larissa took a deep breath as the priest began, 'We are gathered here today to join this two people in holy matrimony. They have each privately declared their unrequited love for each other and now they have come forth to do so publicly. To be a companion to the other, to commit themselves to the maintenance of the bond, in sickness and in health, til death do they part. If anyone wishes to dissent speak now...Larissa, do you take Joshua to be your lawful wedded husband?'

'I do.'

'And do you, Joshua, take Larissa to be your lawful wedded wife?'

'I do.'

'You may kiss the bride.'

As their lips touched a sensation far greater than anything either had before experienced over took their bodies. The crowd applauded and the processed out of the church, man and wife, hand in hand, to create a new legend together which would last for posterity.