Let them squawk. He'd always thought that with marriage would come a certain amount of harsh noises. Conner counted his blessings that the vast majority of unpleasant sounds came from gray feathered gulls.
He smirked, remembering Selarenia's face yesterday. She'd been radiant all through the wedding, taking the brief interruption with grace. The day had been perfect. Everyone they'd wanted to show had (save for Journey, but one could only expect so much from an Avatar); everyone he'd fear would show, hadn't. Aislin hadn't even tried to kill anyone. Neither had Derek, for that matter, and given the guest list, that was a feat.
They'd escaped the feast in the cover of darkness, and Conner had known that something was wrong the moment they came near the boat. Something just felt off, wrong and, reaching the lower hold, it became quite obvious what it was: kittens. They were everywhere, mewing and playing with each other, tumbling over one another in an endless catastrophe. His new bride had been enchanted; he'd been annoyed. There was only one man who'd be this cruel, and as he slowly rounded up the endless cascade of kittens, he'd cursed Jasper's name.
But, the evening ended well. They were tired, but not too tired, and that alone was sweet. Before he'd tumbled into bed for the last time, he'd charted a course to take them south. The letter Braiden had passed along would supply enough coin and favors in whatever port they choose - generous as it was open-ended. In another time, another life, Conner would've made different use of such a favor.
It felt like another person, though. It wasn't that he'd completely changed - Conner had felt the violence in himself recently; quite recently. There was just more to live for, more to channel, and his priorities had changed.
Behind him, the whisper of fabric and Conner smiled, knowing that Sel had gotten up. Surprising, as he'd expected her to sleep through the dawn. "Sleep well?" he asked, not bothering to look over his shoulder, though he did scoot to make sure she had a place to snuggle up against him. A man could hope and plan for such things, if he was lucky and wise.
Conner truly felt lucky, these days. Wise could come later.