Chapter 2. My Heart
Warning: Suggestive adult theme, sexual in nature. It's not over the top, but if you are uncomfortable by those types of things you've been warned. For those of you who don't mind please enjoy and like and follow.
The smell of summer filled Alanis' lungs, it was a pleasant aroma of wild grasses and heat. She took it in on a desperate gasp.
Her eyes opened to the man between her legs, his gray eyes lifted and captured her stare. She was overcome with pleasure, an exquisite pleasure that radiated from within her core. It was that stimulating fervor that drove her body to move in rhythm with his.
She held on to his back, gripping his muscular shoulders for support, her neck craned back and her head met with the tall grass below her. She was on the verge of climax and by his wild, instinctual thrusts she assumed he was close too.
The blissful time finally came and she called out his name.
"Alexander," she moaned. hearing heat in her voice for the first time. She liked it, the way his name sound as it rang between their bodies.
He buried his face into the crook of her shoulder, letting his lips and teeth graze her supple skin as his body quaked against hers.
He groaned her name softly against her neck, his warm breath tickled at her ear. Was he finished, she wondered naively. This had been her first time making love, so she didn't know what to expect.
"Alexander," she said again, his mouth found hers drowning out her labored breathing.
He pulled away and she opened her eyes, they fluttered against the sunlight that cut through the blond prince’s mane. His bold stare rose to hers as he lifted her into his lap.
"Yes, mani hiore?" he replied, but she was so mystified by the way his eyes held her that she forgot what she was going to ask, though she already knew the answer.
"N-Nothing." She smiled. "I suppose I just wanted to say your name again." It was the partial truth, she thought as she wound her arms around him and said his name once more.
The golden prince looked up at her with a pleased grin before she pressed a lasting kiss against his lips.
He chuckled, carrying her to the grass where she laid atop him, trapped within his arms. She rested there for a while, with her face buried against his neck as she listened to the lulling sounds of the forest.
Her body jerked just as she was being taken in by sleep, causing her thoughts to shuffle to life again. Her head began to race with uneasy thoughts, like why the forest songs stopped so suddenly. Almost instantly, she got this feeling, deep in the pit of her stomach—the same feeling she got whenever she was on the receiving end of bad news.
She lifted her head and peered out into the empty field beside them. There was nothing there, nothing that she could see. Her eyes scanned the grass more thoroughly before she decided to search elsewhere.
Alanis then sat up and examined the trees around her, they were tall and beautiful, each brimming with a crown of glossy leaves. The lazy afternoon sun peeked through the branches of the one they made love under, the one they were sheltered under. She sighed while her hands crawled to her naked breast, to the only accessory she wore, the gifted dragon amethyst Alexander had given her. She clutched at the locket nervously while she stared ahead.
It was all so perfect, yet something didn't sit right with her. The nagging voice in the back of her head wouldn't let her relish in that perfect moment and she had to know why.
Were they in danger, had someone seen what they did, she thought wildly as she brought her gaze back to the resting prince.
She gasped and pulled away from him, her eyes were wide as she examined him. He began to stir, jostled by her sudden movement. His eyes opened meeting with hers, they hardened instantly when they caught wind of her frantic gape.
"What is it?" he said, his brow was taut as he questioned her. When she didn't answer, he asked again, in a demanding tone.
"That tattoo—" She stared down at his chest with wild eyes. "Where the hell did that come from?"
"What in the gods are you going on about—what tattoo?" he questioned as he sat to join her.
Alanis recoiled from his grasp, her eyes glued to the eagle on his breast. As he lifted the painted bird came to life and moved with him, its wings stretched and receded in one slow moving thrust before freezing against his chest.
I have seen that before. Gods, I have seen that before, but where, she wondered, her fingers probed at her necklace.
Then suddenly, she remembered where she had seen it last and why she felt so wary.
The tattoo that sprawled across his chest belonged the Harold. She had seen it the night before last, in their tent before they turned in—where she was undoubtedly sleeping, and this was all merely a dream.
Only a dream...
"That's not entirely true—" Alexander replied, pulling Alanis' attention back to her vision. "But you are sleeping."
She watched as he reclined back into the grass and instantly she felt the need to cover herself. This person wasn't Alexander, her Alexander, it was something else and she could see that now. He watched her curiously as she pulled her legs to her chest, shielding her womanly parts from view.
"There's no need to feel shame. You didn't feel it the night you gave yourself to the prince of light, why feel it here and now."
Alanis hid her face against her knees, hoping, whatever she was dreaming would simply vanish.
"You have work to do, Oraur Lahre."
"Work... you mean that this was all a vision?" Alanis blushed, embarrassed that the gods had seen something so intimate—even if it wasn't real.
"Yes," a feminine voice chimed and Alanis lifted her head, forgetting her prior embarrassment.
The Sorrow stared up from the grass where Alexander had laid. She smiled, her gray eyes were locked on the swaying branches above them. Alanis watched her closely, ready to learn what her next step would be.
"The Crimson Cloak is near," The Sorrow spoke, her breast heaved with her breath.
"Yes, Prince Faris is near... I followed him north like I was asked to. So what's next?"
"It is Letando's will that you keep him near."
"Keep him near?!" Alanis' arms fell from her legs and she came apart. "Why does she want me to keep him near?"
"The Crimson Cloak is reluctant to play his role."
"What role?" Alanis wondered what she meant. The man was reluctant to a number of things, his title as prince being one of them.
The Sorrow shook her head then answered, "That's what you're going to help him see."
"The man is impossible, how do you expect me to help him? Even if I do go along with this he won't listen to me, hell he doesn't listen to anyone."
"It must be done," she said stiffly, her gray eyes pierced Alanis' argument and she realized that there was more at stake here than her selfish pride, she would have to do this, or something worse would follow.
"Gods, no," Alanis continued her train of curses inside of her head, things wouldn't be getting any better.
"It's time for you to wake, Oraur Lahre." The Sorrow sat up with her demand.
Alanis flew forward and grasped the woman's hand, hoping that physical contact would force her to stay. "No—you can't just lay this on me and disappear. I need to know more. What am I supposed to do?"
"The answer will come to you in time..." she said reassuringly while lifting her hand through Alanis'.
Alanis awoke gently, the dream faded into the morning light that flooded through the flap of the tent. She rolled over and groaned, remembering the task she'd been given, Letando's will to keep the prince close.
Keep him near–what should I do?
"Rise and shine. Today's the day we've been waiting for," Harold said noticing her movement beneath the bunched blankets. His voice was strangely pitched this morning, he almost sounded, dare she think it, happy.
She peeked over to his corner, he was finishing with his dressing and had all of his belongings packed beside him. She lifted from her curled position and wondered what had him in such good spirits this morning. He was usually quiet, or away in meeting with the knights when she woke.
A strange smile played on her lips as she watched him. His fingers were wrenched at his side, working on the leather straps of his breastplate with steady concentration.
"What's got you in such a good mood?" she asked finally.
"I managed to get a full night's rest," he replied. "I wasn't lying when I told you that you slept... nosily." His eyes lifted along with the points of his mouth, giving her a decent smile.
"Oh." She blushed. "I'm sorry about that."
"The good news is we won't be sharing a room any longer."
Thank the gods for that, she beamed and he caught her grin with one of his own.
"Get dressed. I'm sure the prince is midway through breakfast by now. He's going to have words with us for sleeping in so late."
Alanis quickly dressed and helped Harold disassemble their shelter. As she partook in her last rationed breakfast with the others, she could see that they were just as excited at the prospect of eating real food again—instead of the nuts and dried fruits they'd been feasting on.
Surprisingly, the prince was in a gentle mood while they ate, it looked like he wasn't immune to the good cheer that spread through the camp. He readied his horse leisurely giving everyone enough time to ready theirs. Then they were off, the lot of them eager for ride ahead.
But they didn't get too far, several minutes into the ride the scout positioned at the flank, signaled Lord Fulton to look to the skies.
Above their heads a large, black bird cawed. It looked like some sort of soaring phantom as it wings cut through the low misty clouds. Alanis clutched her shivering shoulders, that spooky sight added to the chill that shook through her bones.
Fulton tugged his reins and stopped his smoky steed. His sudden stop prompted his midnight cloak to billow ahead of him as it rode the pressing winds. His gray eyes were fixed on the bird, tracking its every movement.
"Looks like one of our own," Lord Fulton said and Alanis wondered how he could know such a thing. All ravens looked alike, to her, was this man some sort of animal whisperer?
The captain tilted his head to the side and whistled a two part tune.
The shiny raven swooped down to Fulton's raising arm, and settled on his forearm, repeating a babble of Cruuu-cks while he removed the letter. The raven took off once the captain unhanded his leg, flying south-bound, from where it came.
Faris brought his horse to the captain's side, watching warily as Fulton unfolded the paper.
"The king's caravan is four days behind us," Lord Fulton read from the parchment, he gave a large smile to the prince as he handed it off for him to read for himself.
Faris' face screwed in as he read from the note, it seemed he wasn't as thrilled with the king's short stay in Berthold as Lord Fulton was. While the cat's away the mice will play, she thought, feeling a tug of shameful joy from the prince's misery.
Faris balled the paper and chucked it into the wind, it was lost, somewhere on the snowy ground below him. "Let's be on our way then," he ordered and heeled his steed to gallop. No time was wasted with argument, the group followed, continuing their journey.
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The Old God Language:
mani hiore = my heart = my love.