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Matchmaker

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Matchmaker

Hecuba stewed about nervously, wringing her hands and glancing, every now and then, out the window. She looked at her newly freshened abode. Everything was as in order as it was going to be. There was fresh fruit on the center table and bright colored flowers to lighten up the stone mantle. Those chairs which had cushions had been fluffed. Everything had been polished to a shine. Now it was just the waiting.

She stepped outside and shielded her eyes against the sun. Her skirts rustled with her simple movement. Then she smiled when she caught sight of the colorful woman.

She was tall. She was graceful. Her hair was the color of copper that shined almost golden when touched by the sun's rays for too long. Her face was a little long but her lips were full and her eyes were merry. She wore a knee length skirt and a simple top because she traveled a lot and it was more convenient to ride her small dark pony in the horseman's position than it was to ride sidesaddle and it was cooler in the summer. The pony came to a stop outside of Hecuba's home.

The woman smiled as she dismounted easily. She looped the reigns around an available post and grabbed hold of the saddlebags. "Have I got something to show you." she began in a rapid patter. "I believe," and she waved the bags about, "I have found suitables to meet your requirements."

Hecuba smiled broadly. She waved the woman into her house.

The woman studied the list that an earlier interview with Hecuba provided. She tapped her teeth with her quill. "Now, this was a tough assignment, believe me. But I am a firm believer that we all have a match, even a problem child like yours." The matchmaker set the list down and began opening a pouch. It held a large grouping of scrolls. "Based on your description, I had to narrow some of the possibilities." She began opening some of the scrolls.

Hecuba saw that most were drawings with some description of the individual portrayed underneath. She gasped. Some of the likenesses were remarkable. Hecuba touched one of the scrolls lightly.

The woman smiled, "Yes. I've got some of the best artists at work for me." She unrolled another scroll.

There was another gasp of astonishment from Hecuba.

The matchmaker raised her eyebrows and squinted. She picked up her list and checked it, then looked back at the surprised woman. "You did say she was an Amazon Queen, did you not?"

The mother stammered, "well yes. I did, but. . ."

The redhead touched Hecuba's shoulder gently, "You are aware that Amazons. ."

"I was hoping it was a phase."

The matchmaker's lips quirked and she shook her head lightly. "Being an Amazon Queen is not a phase."

Hecuba's response was meek, "oh."

"Now you mentioned a traveling companion." Again she looked at her list, "Two years." She glanced at Hecuba, "Are you sure they aren't. . ." The matchmaker's hand waved meaningfully.

Hecuba nodded fiercly. "They aren't." Then she looked a little confused, "I think." The mother placed her hands in her lap and looked down. Her face was tense, "She never said anything. . ." Then a hand went to her mouth as little things began to ping in her memory, "Oh dear. . ."

The matchmaker watched the mother's facial expression move from one kind of surety to another sudden comprehension. She began quietly to pack away the scrolls. "Well, I see I won't be needing to do much here."

Hecuba grabbed her arm, "But. . ."

The matchmaker's face took on a look of understanding. "Are they happy?"

Hecuba thought about the few times her daughter had returned home. Each time, save for one, she'd been almost...jubilant, bubbly.. .overflowing with life. She had to grin at her own denseness. "Yes."

The matchmaker patted her hand, "Well then, Aphrodite approves, they'll be fine." So much for that, she thought. The redhead began to stand up.

Hecuba looked down thoughtfully, her mind now fully activated on a new train of thought. She couldn't remember seeing a ring or even a new pendant... .Two years was a fine amount of time to know someone, but there should be something more, more, so no one would mistake. Her daughter was a fine catch after all. She'd have to talk to that dark haired woman of hers. Hecuba, deep in thought, spoke aloud. "There's not been a ceremony yet. Not that I've seen. My daughter better not have eloped. We've got relatives who've been waiting years for this. And a Queen, even an Amazon, should keep up appearances."

The matchmaker sat back down with a grin and began to open up the other pouch. This time she pulled out a big leatherbound casing. Bits of cloth and other materials hung out "Have I showed you the latest fashions in joining ceremonies?"