She stands alone. On an enormous cliff. I narrow my eyes and forcefully sharpen my vision. Us separate this stupid strait of the sea and I start to hate it. I can’t tear my eyes off of her. As reading my mind, wind playfully takes off her hood uncovering her head. I catch my breath. I’ve never seen anyone like her. Her dark long hair and black dress flag in the wind. Head raised up a bit. Big dark eyes. Beautiful jawline. Pale skin. Long bare legs. She is right there. Alone. No one joins her. She looks calm. Holds her spine straight. Just like a queen on the world’s edge in the moonlight. 

  • What an angel!
  • Where?

I didn’t realize I spoke up aloud, but Porir’s voice cuts through. I can’t force myself to turn away from the beauty on the other shore.

  • Heaven or hell sends you a perfect distraction.

My friend taps my shoulder with a quirky smile on his lips. I look at her.

  • Eirikrinn, you have a bride and we’re on mission.

I nod, but I can’t avert my gaze. She makes a few steps backward. Stops. Suddenly she runs forward, reaches the very edge of the cliff and jumps. My heart mortifies for a second. I don’t breathe. She won’t survive!

My legs bring me toward the beach. Eyes never leave her. I can’t let her die! My breathing quickens. She makes a few rolls in the air and her legs land into the sea. She disappears under small waves. I run into the water, swim and swim. She is nowhere seen. I panic. Us separate miles of the sea.

  • Damn! 

I hit the surface of the soulty water with a tight fist. I look for her like a crazy person, exploring miles of deep water. My heart squeezes and my throat tightens. Long. It takes too long.. I try to gulp the new feeling. My eyes dart around and control all the incoming sounds.

  • Eirik! Eirik!

Porir grabs my shoulders and drags me till my legs can reach the bottom. He shakes me. Water rinses my chest. 

  • Eirikrinn! What do you do? Are you mad?!

He turns my head to him. Our eyes meet. He stands dangerously close. No one dares to stand in my space. I reach for my dagger. Pure instinct.

  • Let’s go, Eirik.
  • I’m staying.

I wander in waves looking for her. Such a spirit she radiates can’t sink so easily. I refuse to accept her death.

  • No! You go!

He grabs my elbow and I turn my dagger against his throat. 

  • Watch your TONE! I said, I’m staying!

He watches me carefully, searching for something in my eyes. I see him through, he is not dangerous, but I still keep pointing a sharp tip. He has to understand my seriousness.

  • Come, Eirik. Your clothes are wet.
  • I don’t care.
  • Your skin is blue. This woman is the death of you.
  • I’m not leaving the beach.

He looks at me and slowly nods. 

  • We will make fire not far from here. 

We leave the sea, find a bit higher hill nearby and try to dry our clothes. My eyes never leave the sea. 

  • Your men should be here soon with the news. 
  • The sooner, the better, Porir.

I hear water slapping. In the sea. At our shoreline. I turn my head to that exact spot and try to trace the intruders. It’s dark, but my vision is adjusted. No one is there, but water lulls differently. I get on my feet to check it up. Porir lifts his eyebrow. I gesture to him, we are not alone and I will take a look. He stands up ready to accompany me, but I shake my head.

I go silently. Water slapping goes louder. I prepare my both daggers. Shadows are my best friends. 

It’s her. She washes her hair. They shine in the moonlight. She dives underwater and rises. Water drops run upon her face and body. She fixes her damp hair with her palms backward and her eyelashes fly open. She looks like a goddess, gets out slowly of the sea. Her dress glued to her body. I can check every curve. Her eyes from near are more beautiful. They are blue. I feel hardness between my legs. Oh man, you have to wait. 

She takes off her dress, rinses it, wring it. Her skin looks like velvet. I swallow hard. I am not sure I can stand out. I growl quietly just proving my thought is right. She turns to my side. I’m sure she heard me. She puts on a dress with one smooth move and slinks elegantly like a wild cat. I smell her sweet scent and close my eyes to savour it. It’s better than I imagined. Mesmerising. She catches me off my guard and I lose an opportunity to grab my dagger. Its tip now is pointing to my bare chest. My other dagger reaches her throat. Her eyes widen. She is not scared. Looks more annoyed than anything else. My heart starts to beat hard. This woman and her fighter spirit drives me wild. We move in circles stalking each other with the daggers wrapped in our hands. She is perfect. We would be good in a dance as a pair. I want her next to me rather than dead. 

  • Who are you?

I am so curious. She is such a mystery to me.

  • After you.

She is prompt. I study her. Feeling that I know her slides in my chest. No. I’ve seen her before… but where?

  • Eirikrinn. And you are..?

She hesitates.

  • I mean no harm to you. I’ve seen you jumping into the sea. That was deadly crazy. 

She nods. Her skin shivers.

  • You are cold. We have a fireplace nearby. We could dry your clothes. Do you want to join us?
  • Us?
  • I am with a friend.
  • That’s all I have.

She points to her dress. I smile. I know. I have seen that.

  • I’ll find something mine for you.
  • Doesn’t look like you have much to share.

She points to my bare chest and I chuckle.

  • I ran after you into the sea. I wanted to help you. Will you join?

She studies me, then slowly nods. My chest becomes light and full of some feelings. I think it’s joy. New kind of joy I’ve never experienced. 

Continue reading chapter 13