Changing my future

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Chapter 4 - Back at the holdfast

“I am sorry for what they did to you” he said I did not say a word just looked at him “tell her I am sorry father” Lafrim said looking at Aldred so, my new master was the son of the man who had gotten me away from these lands away from my father

“Lafrim wants me to tell you that he is sorry for what they did to you” Aldred said to me

“He does not need to be sorry, my lord,I am not a person, I am only his slave and his property” I replied

“”She said that you do not need to be sorry as she is only a slave and your property” Aldred said to Lafrim “I will ride back to your holdfast with you and help you repair any damage that was caused and help you deal with the dead” he added

Lafrim bent down and helped me to stand once I was on my feet he let go of my hand and I fell straight back down I was so weak from Olaf kicking and punching me that I had no strength to stand, Lafrim caught me and picked me up, he carried me out of the hall and placed me on the front of his horse, he then got up behind me and rode back to the holdfast with me sitting in front of him leaning into his chest, it should have taken two days to get to the holdfast if he stooped and rested but he did not we rode all day, arriving at the holdfast just after the sun had set the next day, Lafrim jumped down off of his horse and came to me, picking me up again and carrying me into the house, he placed me on his bed and covered me in a fur to make sure that I was warm

“I am truly sorry Freyja” he said and I turned over whilst he walked to the table and joined his father, I could still hear them

“Who is she?” Aldred asked

“I brought her back from the last raid” Lafrim replied

“Why did you teach her to fight? And not scream when she was being attacked, Olaf hit her a few times before you entered and she did not make a sound” Aldred asked

“I did not teach her any of it, I have witnessed her not screaming, Hekndar hit her when we found her and again she did not make a sound, I have never seen a young girl not scream, she seems like she is a very strong girl” Lafrim replied

“Then who?” Aldred asked

“The holymen I took her from must have” Lafrim replied

“Then why did you lie to the king and tell him that you did?” Aldred asked

“I do not know” Lafrim replied

“There must be a reason why you risked your life by lying to the king” Aldred said

“I do not know, all I know is that from the moment I first saw her, I wanted to bring her here and I wanted to keep her safe, I do not know what made me feel that way I just did” Lafrim replied

“I see, how old is she?” Aldred asked

“I do not know” Lafrim replied

“You have not asked her” Aldred said

“I cannot speak her language and she cannot speak ours” Lafrim replied

“You could have asked Alfred to talk to her” Aldred said

“I do not want anyone to ask her questions like that it will make them ask questions of me” Lafrim replied

“Can I talk to her?” Aldred asked

“Of course” Lafrim replied and I heard Aldred got up from the table and walked over to the bed and he sat down on the edge of the bed

“Freyja” he said putting his hand on my arm

“Yes, my lord” I said turning over

“Do you mind if I ask you some questions?” Aldred asked

“Of course, my lord, I am your son’s Slave which means that I am also yours” I replied

“Who taught you to fight?” he asked

“The holymen on the island were I was raised” I replied

“What else did they teach you?” Aldred asked

“Many things my Lord, I can cook, clean, sew hunt and fight but they are only a few, my lord” I replied

“Why then when I asked you in front of the king did you tell me that Lafrim had taught you?” he asked, shit I hadn’t thought about that, if I could not talk their language then how did I know to say that Lafrim taught me to fight

“The day that your son first brought me here, he said that he would protect me my lord” I replied

“Why did you not scream when you were beaten?’” He asked me

“The holymen taught me that showing pain was a sign of weakness and no matter where I am, I do not want anyone to see weakness in me” I replied

“One last question” Aldred said

“Anything my lord” I replied

“How old are you?” he asked

“I was 16 years old on my last birthday but I know that you do not have birthdays like the holymen do, in your terms I have been alive for nearly seventeen winters and I became a woman” I replied

“Good now come and have a drink, I find that beer helps to heal all wounds and if you have a lot it makes you forget about them” Aldred said holding out his hand, I took his hand and walked with him to the table sitting opposite Lafrim

“You were right Lafrim it was the holy men that taught her to fight and that showing pain was a sign of weakness and she doesn’t want anyone to think her weak and she has been alive for nearly seventeen winters, she is a woman” Aldred said and I looked at Lafrim and saw him smile, Aldred poured me a glass of beer and passed it over to me, I sat and drank my glass of beer whilst listening to them telling stories and about how they were going to fix the holdfast, the night was going very quickly and I was tired, I finished my glass of beer and looked at Lafrim

“Can I go to sleep my lord?” I asked and Lafrim looked at his father

“She asked to rest Lafrim” Aldred said

“Yes, tell her she can rest, I want her to take my bed tonight and I will take the floor” Lafrim said

“He says that of course you can go to sleep, he would like you to sleep in his bed and he will take the floor” Aldred said to me

“Thank you my lord but can you tell him that I am a slave and his property, as a slave my place is on the floor and not in his bed sleep well my lord” I said and went over to my fur on the floor

“Why did she not do as I asked?” Lafrim asked his father

“”She said that as your slave her place is on the floor and not in your bed, it would seem that the people who raised her have taught her what would happen if she was brought here” Aldred replied

“She is so much more than that, she is the strongest girl that I have ever met and the most beautiful” Lafrim replied

“She is a woman Lafrim not girl” Aldred said

“She is a strong brave and beautiful, I have never known anyone like her” Lafrim replied

“I see” Aldred said

“What do you see?” Lafrim asked

“It would seem that you have found the one that makes you whole, it would seem that when you saw the girl your heart knew the truth, it is just that your mind has not caught up yet” Aldred said

“But it cannot be, she is not one of us” Lafrim said

“It does not matter if she is not one of us, if she is the one that makes you whole then she is the one, you will never find another one to replace her, I saw it in the hall when Olaf attacked here, I am your father and can see how you feel for the girl” Aldred said

“It is a foolish thing to think, the king would never allow it” Lafrim said

“The king cannot stop it” Aldred said

“Why?” Lafrim asked

“Half of the wives of the men in our kingdom are not of our kin, there is no law against it, you do what makes you happy, you need to tell her how you feel” Aldred said

“It does not matter how I feel. I took the girl from her land and killed all the people that raised her, she will hate me for the rest of her life, I forced her to come here what hope is there after all I have done” Lafrim said

“You will not know until you talk to her” Aldred said

“Alfred is teaching her our tongue” Lafrim replied

“Good do not let her get away from you, you will not find another” Aldred said “now I need to piss and I need to sleep” Aldred said and got up from the table and left the hall, I heard Lafrim get up from the table and walked over to me, I closed my eyes so that he would think I was asleep

“Sleep well, I hope that one day soon I can tell you how I feel and that you feel the same, I hope you do not hate me for how you came here” Lafrim said and walked away I wasn’t sure how I felt about him, I wasn’t sure how I felt for anything, I had been dragged away from where I was raised and all the people that had raised me had been slaughtered but I did feel something strange for him, I felt safe with him around and I felt happy knowing that he would look after me and protect me

The next morning when I woke up the sun was already high in the sky, it seemed that I had been allowed to sleep in, I got up got dressed and got some food and drink, once I was ready I went and stood outside of the house, I watched as Lafrim and his father repair the fences to the cattle shed, I could not help but to watch Lafrim, he was a fair bit taller then me and had long blonde hair he had a well muscular body and compared to the only men I had ever met he was queit handsome, he was working with no shirt on, I watched him burn those that had been slaughtered in the attack, Aldred looked up and noticed me watching Lafrim, he walked over to me

“Good morning Freyja I hope that you are feeling better,” he said

“I am my lord, thank you for your concern” I said “what do I need to do?” I asked still watching Lafrim

“Rest” he said noticing that I had not looked at him when I spoke but continued to watch Lafrim

“I do not need more rest, I am a slave and have work to do,” I replied and for some reason I could not take my eyes off of him

“You have wounds that need to heal” Aldred said watching me watch Lafrim

“They are only bruises my lord, they do not stop me from working” I replied

“He is a strong man and he will protect you” he said “my son would never hurt you and he would never let another person hurt you” he added

“What do you mean my lord?” I asked

“You will see soon enough” he said smiling at me and I saw Lafrim walking towards me, when he was halfway towards me I saw him pick up a sword and throw it at me, on instinct I caught the sword

“Show me” he said but I did not move even though it seemed that someone had taught him english “show me what you can do?” he said this time in old norse

“He wants you to show him what you can do” Aldred said

“I fight better with two swords my lord” I said and Aldred passed me his sword

“Why?” Lafrim asked

“She said that she fights with two so, I gave her mine so that you can see what she can do” Aldred replied “go ahead” he said looking at me

“Yes my lord” I said and stepped forward and away from the house and towards Lafrim, we began to fight it was not a life or death situation he only wanted to see what I could do, a few times I could have gotten the better of him but I did not want to show him up in front of everyone, especially his father, after a while he held up his hand to stop me

“You have a very unique way of fighting” Aldred said

“It is the way that the men who raised me taught me” I replied

“It would also seem that you were holding back a few times there you could have got the better of him” Aldred said

“I could not my Lord” I said

“There is no need to lie, I could see that you hesitated a few times and you could have gotten him, you are better than you are showing, I would say that you are better than Lafrim” Aldred said

“It is not my place to be better than him my lord” I replied

“What are you saying to her?’ Lafrim asked

“I told her that she has a very unique way of fighting and I also told her that I knew that she was holding back and could have got the better of you a few times” Aldred said

“What?” Lafrim asked

“She was holding back” Aldred replied

“She was not” Larim said

“You are not watching properly” Aldred said

“Why?” Lafrim asked

“Did you not see her hesitate?” Aldred asked

“I did but that does not mean she was holding back” Lafrim said

“Everytime Freyja hesitated it was because she could have taken you” Aldred replied

“Why would she do that?” Lafrim asked

“She said that it is not her place to be better than her lord” Aldred said

“I wanted her to show me what she could do” Lafrim said

“And she will not do it when others are around” Aldred

“Food” he said making a gesture like he was hungry

“He wants you to make some food, that was what he was trying to gesture to you” Laughed Aldred, there had been many times since I arrived here that I could have laughed at Lafrim when he did sillly hand gestures to try and get me to understand, I smiled at Aldred

“Yes my lord” I said and went back into the house and began to prepare the food ready for that night, I made sure that I cooked extra as I assumed that Aldred would be staying to eat, after I was cooking for a few hours Lafrim walked into the house

“Freyja he said as he entered and I looked up at him smiling, he walked up behind me and put his arms underneath mine, picking up a spoon and tasting what I was cooking, once he had finished he put the spoon down and pulled his arms out as he did he caught my arm and I felt a tingle all over it would seem that my body knew how I felt for him, he must have felt it because he put his hands on my waist and lent his head into my neck and he began to smell my hair, he was about to do something else when Aldred walked into the house and coughed, lafrim quickly walked away and sat at the table

“You do not need to be so shy” Aldred said

“Freyja food” he said

“He wants to know if the food is ready” Aldred said

“Ja minn Herra” I said and Lafrim turned round and smiled at me, everyone helped me to get the food to the table and everyone sat down, except me I stayed standing, there was another lord in the house surely I was not meant to sit

“Freyja will you sit and eat” Lafrim said looking at me

“He wants you to sit and eat” Aldred said

“Yes my lord, I did not know if it would be the same as you are here” I said to Aldred sitting down

“I am not the lord of his holdfast, whilst I am here I follow Lafrim’s rule” Aldred replied and everyone began to eat and drink the same as every other night, with Aldred and Lafrim still talking about what needed to be done on the holdfast

“There is not much that needs doing” Lafrim was saying

“No you will no longer need my help and your mother will be wondering where I am” Aldred replied

“You are not going back to the king?” Lafrim asked

“No, I will go home for a while and you should probably teach her to fight like we do and you need to tell her before it is too late” Aldred said

“When I am ready” Lafrim said and he continued to drink

“It does not matter if you are ready or not, you need to talk to her” Aldred said

“And I will” he replied “why should I teach her to fight, she is a woman?” Lafrim asked

“She maybe a woman but she can fight as well as you if not better and it will give you time with her” Aldred said “they may come a time in our future that we will need everyone to fight” he added

“I will teach her then” Lafrim said

“Freyja it was a pleasure to meet you, I will not be here when you wake up, I hope that next time we meet, we can talk more in my tongue” Aldred said looking at me

“”The pleasure was mine my lord and I would like that very much” I said and looked over at Lafrim, Lafrim and his father continued to drink into the early hours of the morning, I was tired and needed to sleep so I cleaned away the food stuff and went to sleep, when I awoke the next morning Aldred was gone and Lafrim was still sound asleep, I watched him sleep for a moment and then set about my daily tasks

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