THE WEDDING PRECESSION took place at the Countess’s chapel in Moscow.
Inside a plethora of lit candles emitted a sweet aroma and provided a romantic ambiance. There was little space between guests in the seventy-seat chapel. Kira’s mother was elated to have influence over Colonel Vershinin. Reports of his behavior had created several enemies due to his excesses.
Roman stood in front of the altar with Uri by his side. The both wore full dress uniforms with dark trousers and tunic tops, an array of medals pinned across their chests.
Uri whispered through the side of his mouth. “Are your legs trembling? I can hear your knees knocking together.”
“I think running full speed into battle is less nerve racking. God, I wish this were over.”
The music started and the men straightened their stance. Kira had chosen the Strauss waltz that had played during their first meeting. A broad grin spread across Roman’s cheeks.
Carved wooden doors that lead into the chapel opened. There in the doorway stood Kira, her father by her side. She wore an egg-shelled colored heavily embroidered laced gown. The bodice cinched tight at the waist exposed her hourglass figure. As she floated down the aisle, her train equally elaborate, stretched ten feet behind. Atop her head adorned a petite diamond tiara, attached to a sheer veil. In her arms, she caressed a dozen strands of vibrant purple orchids.
When Kira reached the altar, the white bearded priest wearing a gold robe positioned the bride and groom next to one another. He traced the sign of the cross above their heads and proceeded to bless them. Someone handed the couple lit candles then the priest commenced with a lengthy prayer. Kira shifted in her tight shoes, with thoughts of slipping out of them.
The priest placed gold crowns on both the bride and groom’s head. Roman’s crown started to fall forward. Uri caught it with a laugh then placed it firmly on Roman’s head. Snickers in the audience caused the bride and groom to blush.
The promises of vows were exchanged, further prayers, then the sharing of a common cup of wine. Roman took the opportunity to indulge in a large sip.
The priest joined their hands and wrapped them in his sash. Roman felt the heat from Kira palm. Their eyes locked and Roman squeezed her hand. Her gazed calmed his nerves and he felt at peace.
A final sign of the cross and blessing then the priest presented the couple. Roman leaned over to Kira and said, “My love is eternal, Kira Pavlovitch.”
“Till death us do part, my love.”