Senta and Hero stood side-by-side on the steps of the Church of the Apostles. Hero held the fussy baby Senta. Her own Senta rode horsy back on her father across the lawn, while Benny Jr. rode his Uncle Hertzel. All four seemed heedless of the stay off the grass sign. The adult Senta cradled the sleeping Hannabeth Markham.
“It’s too much, really,” said Hero. “I don’t think Benny will allow it.”
“If he has a problem with it, he can tell me,” said the sorceress. “I don’t care if he approves or not. I’m paying for her college education. You said you wanted your Senta to be special. What’s more special that a proper college educated lady?”
“I don’t know. Do I know any proper educated ladies?”
“Oh,” said Hero with a frown.
“Oh, well she’s okay.”
“Of course, if you don’t like that plan, we could always just trade. I’ll take your little Senta and you can take mine.”
“Don’t even joke about that,” said Hero, and then changing topics. “What did the police inquest decide?”
The sorceress shrugged. “I don’t know. I didn’t go.
“Um, aren’t you worried?”
“If they want to track me down, I won’t be hard to find.”
Benny Markham walked up, carrying his eldest child under one arm like a sack of potatoes. He kissed his wife on the cheek. Right behind him was his brother-in-law, now out of breath, with Benny Jr. on his shoulders.
“Look, you’ve both ruined the knees of your trousers,” said Hero.
“You’ve got to have fun while you have the chance,” said Benny.
Benny tickled the chin of the blond baby.
“Would you like to play horsey?”
“You don’t have time,” said his wife. “The ceremony is going to start in just a few minutes.”
“I don’t think anyone expected you to be here,” Benny whispered to the sorceress. “They just send the Drache Girl an invitation out of respect. It’s like sending one to the governor.”
Senta nodded her head in the direction of the street and the others turned to see a car driven by Governor Staff and containing her husband and her daughter pull up and park, two tires completely up on the sidewalk.
They turned and filed into the church, taking their places toward the back on the right hand side. It wasn’t a packed house by any means. Less than a hundred people, about equally divided between the groom’s and bride’s sides, filled the front third of the pews. As the Markham party was getting settled in, the governor’s family filed past toward an empty pew in the front. Iolana Staff waved as she passed. A mechanical music player began the first chords of Kafira’s Marriage. They all turned to watch Wenda Lanier walking down the aisle to where Father Galen and Walter Charmley awaited her.
“It’s nice that her mother could come,” whispered Hero, gesturing to where Melody Wardlaw, the mother of the bride, sat near the front, still wearing a metal brace outside of her dress.
“I just hope Wenda knows what she’s getting into,” whispered Benny.
“What do you mean?” asked Senta.
“Nothing. Never mind.”