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This is a WIP, NaNoWriMo 2015, Forest Wed. Adann and Kaie (who was engaged), are married as symbols of their gods, and 2 weeks into their marriage, the gods’ blessing and the town are suffering, so they are sent on a hunting trip with two experienced hunters (Rui and Corliss). On the third day, Kaie and Adann kill a kien (snake/anteater monster), and later, Adann asks for a kiss and Kaie reacts badly–I’ve skipped over Adann leaving the conversation and packing up so they can move on.
He took the hand on her uninjured side, studying the nicks and calluses on her lovely, capable hands as if he’d never seen them before, “I’m sorry, I’d like to give you that kiss now.”
“Really?” Adann touched his chin, bringing his gaze up, and stared at him for a long moment, her eyes bright and hopeful. Then her face fell, and she pulled away from his grip, “No, not really.”
“But—” Kaie didn’t especially want to kiss her, but after that first, unthinking reaction, he thought it wouldn’t be too bad.
“Kaie, we can’t strengthen our relationship without honest feelings. I don’t … I don’t know what it does to the heart, to submit to something you don’t desire, but how could such a thing not make it shrivel up?”
“You don’t think I meant it?” Kaie turned away, “I’m going to go check on the hunters.”
* * *
Beikife is a small town in something like the Amazon rain forest, protected by a pair of married gods. The gods are represented by human avatars, two young people chosen and married by divine power. The strength of the marriage represents the bond between the gods’ blessing, so the new forest wed must find a way to connect to each other, or the crops will fail, the rivers will flood, and the cursed monsters that live in the forest will claim many