*** MILLENNIA’S POV ***
I left Fergus and went the hill down thinking about bond and its meaning. I find my spot in the water where the sea meets the shore and waves come and leave. My palm rests on my growing belly. It shows already. I stroke it at the sound of each breaking wave. Since there is no green garden I spend my time here. I met Eirik in a similar place after long swimming and that is why there my longing calms.
- Eirikrinn, what have we done? We broke rule by rule our ancients set. Where will it lead us? What have we created? What will be with our kid?
I hear Andvari shouting in a distance. Me and Fergus turn to face him. He is breathless, runs quick and jumps from stone onto the next one down here. Obviously he is in a rush.
Fergus stops him and they change some passionate words. I watch them from the beach. Fergus leaves in a hurry but not toward the castle. My heart starts beating quicker. What’s going on?! It should be serious.
Andvari runs toward me and I meet him at a middle of slope not waiting of him to come down.
- Who attacks us?!
Cymru? Black? He can’t speak up breathless, just shakes his head in refusal.
- Tell me!
My eyes widen. I leave him and reach the castle. Where?! My eyes scan my grounds where clans live. I am confused. He snakes my waist from behind and tells me in the ear.
- You are not going anywhere.
He demands. I am angry.
- What play do you play, Andvari?!
He looks me in the eyes. He is not joking. What is happening? He turns my body toward the woods. My heart skips a beat.
- Break water dams!
- But we need them!
- Three of six. Quick!
Death is coming. It swallows everything on its way. Claims woods piece by piece. My heart hammers. Finally water comes with the roaring sound of a storm. It won’t be enough. Not enough! I turn to command but realise no one will hear me now from here. It is too loud. I still try to fight with the nature, but of course no one hears me. I head up the mountain. It’s hard to reach the dam. No stairs, always steep up the mountain. My extra weight doesn’t make it easier to climb there. I breathe deep and push me toward dams.
- Rhia! Watch out!
Andvari catches me by my wrist when I slip.
- Break two more!
He doesn’t question my decision this time, does as I say and commands for others. Roaring power of water comes down the mountain as a wealthy river.
My feet take a run along it. Eyes stick with the view of dancing fire tongues.
Comes far from behind. I don’t turn back. My feet find their way forward.
My mouth calls her name. Ground is hot in the woods and thick smoke still comes up in huge clouds. Trees are marked black by the fire.
My feet dig into damp forest ground countless steps I already made.
I hear some painful moans and take that direction.
- Silva! ..Fergus!
Where are they? I can’t be too late! My heart sinks into my gut. I am not ready for more losses. I frantically search the grey woods. It’s a cracking hot hell landing in pieces and hitting the ground. Painful moan comes up from nearby. I stop and look around trying to silence my breath. Smoke covers ground and it’s hard to see anything. I check all around so far my vision lets me in such circumstances, but nothing. Where did that sound come from? I am lost in the area and decide to call out again.
I stumble and fell down on my knees in the mud. Hands and knees support my weight from dropping my face down. It is someone’s hand.
It belongs to a man. Large arm. He doesn’t answer. I grope his body lines and turn him on a side. I gasp and feel panic climbing my throat.
- Eirikrinn ..
My heart races. He makes me alive. He always does. His mouth gives out water as soon as I turn him onto the side. I keep his body steady. He needs support. His skin is badly burned. It’s probably only from the hot ground. He heals. Eyes are dark but look blurry. I am not sure he sees me. My heart trembles.
- My love.
His eyes search for me reacting to my words.
- Eirik, how come you are here?
My eyes water and my chest is full of something I don’t truly understand, I never felt. I kneel next to him. He doesn’t respond and eyes shut.
- Oh sins..
With my trembling hands I quickly brush the hairs of his face and check his breath. It’s not stable and shallow. I am afraid to breathe as I lean in closer again. Fate brought us to this point. He inhales filling his lungs with the air and blows out chilly onto my breasts. His eyes open slowly. I can say he is still dizzy.
He says without any sound but his lips move and I understand. I press my lips against his to stop him from talking.
- I love you.
He smiles at my words though I can barely see that little smile. I kiss his lips tenderly, sit down and let his head rest on my lap. I stroke his soft hair. We feel right together. His eyes show relief.
- You.. alive
- More than ever, Eirik..
He rests on my body, one hand holding mine on his chest. It feels calm. Homy. Cosy. We are joined in the moment, in breath.
I know the voice cutting the air. Fergus sees me and rushes to my side. I don’t move. I found my place. It is here, next to Eirik.
- It’s not safe here.
I ignore Fergus’ warning and give all my attention to Eirikrinn. His wounds heel but definitely need longer rest. His eyes rest under closed eyelashes. Chest moves up and down in a calm rhythm. Looks so peaceful and handsome. He holds my hand more firmly as he is trying to protect me.
- Let’s go!
I shake my head. Fergus follows my gaze.
- I will take care of him. You just go!
He shakes his head. I swallow tears. Eirikrinn catches my swirl of emotions as he always does. Limb stucks in my throat.
Now Eirikrinn urges me. I take a desperate look at him not willing to leave him.
- Stay safe.
He is protecting me, but HE needs protection. He is still too weak.
- He is not yet ready to go, Fergus.
- I stay with him. Will make sure he is safe. Go.
I hear Fergus promise. I know I can trust him and still I know my place is here. My place was always here, next to him.
My tears roll down the cheeks without any sound, my heart reaches toward him. I hug Eirik tighter.
- Is it him?
I nod after Fergus’ question because words just do not come out of my body. I am so overwhelmed. He nods in understanding.
- I will look after him. Go, till your way is safe.
- Stay safe.
Eirik places his palm on my belly. Our eyes meet and my heart melts from his words. Tears prick again at the eyes. I am sure, it’s because of those pregnancy hormones. I have to gather my whole strength to do as he says. I have in me one more life to save.
- Don’t give me reason to worry.
He encourages me as I hesitate to leave him our fingers still laced. He is healing. He is already stronger. Death will not try to whisk him away from me like the last time on a river bank.
- I love you, Eirik.
I kiss my two fingers and he mirrors me. I don’t look back, I gain speed with each step till I finally can’t tell where the tree starts and where it ends. If I slow down for a bit, I will never move from his side. Is it bond? or is it us?
Woods are still there, standing and breathing. One side chokes in grey smoke, still breathes and lives in heat. The other one enjoys the green calmness, fresh air, and covers life underneath. Life is nothing like black and white. There are always more colours and we are stuck somewhere in between. When someone suddenly asks you, what colour is it, you just are forced to make a decision and to name one of many. The same is now with my feelings.
Continue reading chapter 12