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Divided Chapter 43Twice she started out the chamber door, twice she stopped as Trena urged her on.
“Sometimes fate has other plans in store for us,” Trena crooked a hand around her arm as she guided her out into the hallway, “And no matter how fervently you wish to follow your chosen path, you must navigate the twists and turns along the way.”
Lelia swallowed hard, felt the guilt fill her as she thought of how fervently she'd wished to be delivered from her current responsibilities as her aunt's protege. Perhaps Fate had heard her plea though Fate had a sadistic sense of humor if such was the case.
“Now off with you, child..”
They stood in the corridor, Lelia holding her satchel before her, “I'll return as soon as I can..ye need me. I know..”
Trena smiled, “Others need you a sight more. I will find another assistant soon enough.”
Lelia glanced up and down the corridor as if she expected a new aide to materialize before her eyes, “Not for
Divided Chapter 42It was heading toward midnight when they reached the manor, exhausted but in good spirits. Inside, the atmosphere was a bit more somber. Sally and Helgi were in the sitting room in the rocking chairs before a low fire. In her lap, Sally held a dozing Brynn, head tilted back, mouth agape as she gently rocked him.
“He woke from a bad dream and had an attack,” Helgi shook her head, “Astrid woke up in a panic but we calmed her down, put her back to bed and brought him downstairs.”
Eidra lifted Brynn from Sally's arms, the boy's body spasming as his arms flew forward to wrap around her neck. She could hear the rattle in his chest as he sighed in his sleep and she held him to her.
“Did you give him his elixir?” Loki put his hand at the boy's back, distressed. He could feel each breath wheezing from his son's taxed lungs and he hated himself for his next thought. Brynn would never survive the rite of passage, not in his present state of health. He would hav
Divided Chapter 41The house was vibrating with activity. Every inch of the long table in the dining hall was covered with all manner of foodstuffs. Fresh bread, rolls, lefse, venison roasts, chicken, fish chowder, smoked fish, new potatoes, skyr, fruit, cheeses, plenty of hard cider, ale crowded each dish for a space on the table. Women amused the children in the sitting room. A burst of laughter floated into the kitchen but Eidra could barely concentrate.
Every movement in the doorway, every word overheard caught her attention, making her heart race. Were the men arrived? Was Fen leading the pack? Would they bring her first born son home to rest on a bier? She shut her eyes, put a hand above her heart.
“Hey, come on out to the dining room and join the ladies.”
Eidra opened her eyes. Jane stood there before her in the empty kitchen, “Come on. It's fun to watch your cook fuss over the food....every time someone sneaks a bite, he's on them like a shot...”
Eidra shot her a quick smi
Divided Chapter 40“Announcing her Majesty, Queen Jane..,” Hal called into the crowded kitchen.
Eidra leaped up from the bench at the table, wiping her hands on a towel as the other ladies began to stand but Jane waved at them as she sidled by Hal.
“Don't you dare get up. I told him I didn't need to be announced, honestly,” she rolled her eyes at Hal who looked thoroughly chided, “I would have been here sooner but I had to threaten Thor to let me come at all. I mean..,” Jane let herself down on the bench beside Eidra who'd moved to make room for her, “I'm in the second trimester. It's the safest time to travel,”
“It is one aspect wherein brother follows brother,” Eidra patted her arm, “When I was pregnant, Loki would have me carried everywhere I went if he could have....he treated me as a delicate flower....'twas maddening..,”
The women about the table laughed. Beth set down a couple of bowls, taking a chair at one end.
Divided Chapter 39Even at full gallop with a few minutes rest in between, it took the better part of an hour to reach the domed structure sitting in a cleared swath of grassland at the edge of the Western Sea. The day before yesterday, Colin had pitched in to build the sweat lodge along with Loki, Thor, Silas, Garik, Gunnar and some High Council members who would be present at the ceremony, digging the fire pit, assembling the birch framework, covering the frame with buckskin and cowhide.
Now as he reined in Lightning a few yards distant, his heart started to pound. The night before, he'd lain awake thinking, as he had been wont to do every spare moment since Loki had formally invited him to attend the ritual, again about his sad physique compared with most of the Asgardians he'd met. Even the elderly men seemed to have kept themselves fit as they aged. He'd also pondered the great honor he was being given, allowed to witness and participate in such a personal ritual. Around a low burning fire a c
Divided Chapter 38Eidra heard the muffled thump of the front door. She opened her eyes, squinting in the light of the lamp by the bed. Loki was standing by the wardrobe tying the laces of his breeches, humming softly to himself.
“Are you going with him?” she mumbled, drawing the coverlet tighter about her.
“I am. I told him to head off on his own, I would catch up with him. 'Twill give him more time alone to meditate.”
“mmmm..,” she heard the soft click creak of another door and she peered over the edge of the coverlet to see Brenna stick her head into the bedchamber.
“Are you decent?”
Loki nodded, “Half...,” he took a folded tunic from one shelf, “Come in if you are of a mind...”
Brenna walked to the bed, dropping down beside her mother, gathering her nightgown around her feet.
“So today is the day, is it?”
Eidra's hand snaked out from beneath the covers to rub Brenna's arm, “That it is. Now you will have to addre
Divided Chapter 37Colin rubbed his hands together as he made his way up the path to the manor. It felt cold enough to snow. If it was this rough in September, he shuddered to think of what it would be like in the dead of winter. Warm light streamed through the windows, illuminating the dusk.
"Probably missed the evening meal, fuck it all," he grumbled as he let himself into the foyer. The lingering buttery, sea salty aroma of fish soup hung heavy in the air, accompanied by the sweet yeast of fresh bread. He walked through the sitting room into the dining room, spying Loki at the table, some number of small bowls arranged before him. He looked up as Colin entered the room.
"I was about to head for the longhouses to see what was keeping you," Loki gestured to the chair opposite him, "Do take a seat. Doubtless you did not dine at the encampment."
"Ah no I did not. Stark was taking his sweet time with the weekly report. You know how he gets on about things. You can't shut the man up fer nothing lately. I sw
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