Thursday, 20 January 2011

Sealed with a kiss

OK, so it's two posts in one day. This little piece is from, The Cord,  part three of my saga. The Cord is all about covenants, contracts and trust. The first strand of The Cord, if you like, is the tryst of a marriage and looks at how do you deal with a doubt and the result of following gossip. That and good deal of battling orcs and stuff. So without further ado here is the closing chapter of the first section of the book.

To help you three characters are: Emun, the husband of Lo and main hero of the saga, Lo, the prophet wife of Emun and daughter of Arrborn the priest.

Sealed with a Kiss.

Lo had cast away the words of Accuson, those that had haunted her thoughts and driven to the edge of sanity. She had listened to the whispers of the dark lord that would soon proclaim himself a god before mortals, words carried on the backs of insects that crawl among the filth. Like the words of a gossip poised upon the tip of the tongue always ready for the eager ear to catch. Lo had heard the whispers in her sleep and in the loneliness of her thoughts she had allowed them to take root and fester. She shuddered involuntary as she recalled how readily she had taken the words to heart and acted upon them without once stopping to seek the truth.
Lo walked up the worn pathway to the door of the home that Dorn had given them as a wedding gift. She took a deep breath and turning the handle she opened the door and went inside. Emun looked up from his plate of food and smiled, his lip trembled softly as he tried to speak her name. Arrborn, who had made himself a second home with Emun jumped from his seat and rushed to embraced his child.
"What's in the sack lassie, is it treats?" Lo swung the bag carefully out of Arrborn's reach.
"I'm afraid not," Lo looked at Emun with a heavy heart. "I know about Dorn," she looked down at the sack then back at Emun. "I am so sorry for all that I have done these past few weeks. I ... I," her tears mingled with Emun's hair as he pulled her close and embraced her. He took the sack from her hand and placed it carefully on a chair. "I ... listened," Lo said between sobs.
"It does not matter, I have you home now," Emun kissed the tears from her eyes then from her face. He placed he placed his lips delicately upon her trembling mouth and kissed her softly. They never saw Arrborn take the sack from the chair or heard him close the door.
The afternoon soon became evening as two lovers renewed their covenant. A hesitant knock at the door followed by a gruff cough reminded Emun and Lo that their father-in-law had been outside for most of the day. Lo pulled herself from Emun's arms and opened the door to find the dwarf standing with his arms piled with food and gifts, his reddened nose and sparkling eyes peering over the top of the stash. "Is it safe yet?" Arrborn asked almost dropping his bounty.
"Off course it is safe, why would it not be?" Lo asked then grimaced as the reasons why came to mind. Arrborn set his bags on the table and went about preparing something to eat.
"Is there any word from mother, Emun has told me of her journey north?" Lo put the plates in a pile in the middle of the table together with knives for the bread and meat that Arrborn had tossed over to her.
"None as yet, but don't worry about her. I pity any fool that messes with your mother she is not as delicate as she looks," Arrborn tore off a hunk of bread and rammed a thick slice of meat into it which he flattened between his hands before biting of a sizeable piece. Lo leaned across and picked out the crumbs from his beard. Arrborn winked at her as he took another bite then playfully stuck out his chin to have it groomed again.
"I should think not," Lo said drawing away in mock disgust, "there's something living in it," she said tugging at his beard.
"Something!" Arrborn blinked wide eyed, "a great many things I shouldn't wonder," and with that he proceeded to devour the rest of his supper in huge mouthfuls washed down with a flagon of mead. Arrborn yawned, stretched out his arms and belched, "that's better," he said.
"I'm sorry about my father he's a dwarf," Lo looked at Arrborn with a frown.
"He's in a class of his own," Emun quipped.
"Kids," Arrborn growled through another mouthful of bread and mead.


See you all again soon.

ps my current read which I heartily recommend to anyone who likes Terry  Pratchett or Tom Holt is Pogrom by Clive Newnham.