Here is a fable I came up with for the background for a book I am thinking of writing.
Once, two magic rings were forged from the metals of the earth by a great sorceress. A wedding gift, these rings were given to a young couple with the promise to bind their hearts and minds together for all time. The gift delights the young couple. Sorceresses did not often gift commoners with such gifts; especially in a time when one could be hung or burned for performing witchcraft.
For a while, the couple was inseparable. As long as they wore their rings, they were like one; body, mind, and soul. But as time wore on, the wife took off the ring to wash her hands, or hang laundry; harmless things. The more she put the ring aside, however, the easier it became to forget to put it back on. And the more frequently this happened, the less the couple was tied together. She became more selfish and absorbed in her own affairs, heedless of her own husband’s needs and desires. The husband too, grew apart from his wife until they were nearly complete strangers. They began to fight continuously until one day their home was invaded by thieves. They were stripped of everything they possessed, including their rings.
Desperate, they ventured a trip to the old sorceress to plead with her to make them a new set of rings. The sorceress not only refused but cursed them that they would never have children. She also cursed their land and called them irresponsible fools. The rings were precious, and though not malicious in nature, when taken into the wrong hands the rings could turn deadly. The sorceress also proclaimed that after seven generations, if the rings had not found true love once again, whoever possessed them would be cursed. The rings must return to their original owners and mend what had been broken or pay the ultimate price.
And so it was, the couple returned home and regardless of the effort they put into their land, nothing prospered. Their love did not return yet they were doomed to endure life together. They were indeed cursed and within the month, they were lying side by side beneath the earth.
The rings are then handed down from generation to generation. The two don’t know each other but meet at a business meeting. They must develop their own relationship before they can go back in time and fix anyone else’s love.