At once the terror of what he'd done settled in, he dropped his hands from where they'd settled, and then covered her hands with his where they rested on his shoulders -- she had not moved but to speak. He pressed back against his -- confusion? guilt? -- and said, "Blood of the north is blood of the north, and my kin is mine no matter who marries them or their names may change." He held her face between his hands then, and kissed her again -- this time, on the forehead.