Divided Chapter 51He shut the bedchamber door as quietly as he was able but no matter, as he strode to the balcony railing, raising the lanter to peer into the pre-dawn darkened foyer where Fen stood waiting, he heard a door unlatch to his right.
“Papa,” Astrid whispered.
Loki turned about to see Astrid and Brynn standing in the doorway of their bedchamber.
“Papa. I thought we were going with you to the games,” Brynn whined.
Loki waved to Fen as he walked to their doorway and knelt before them. At five seasons old, Astrid was quickly outstripping her brother in height. Brynn would take after Eidra in that respect.
“I want to ride with you!” Astrid joined in.
“You are all of you riding in the wagon with Master Denehy. You will be soon behind us....sooner if you continue your hue and cry my little sparrow. Let your mother sleep in a bit longer.”
There was a click to his left as Cait poked her head out of her bedchamber doorway, “Did I not tell the two
Divided Chapter 50He was so close, Fen could hear the even rhythm of his breathing, see in his peripheral vision, his arms, bent at the elbows, loose, relaxed.
“Fen...,” Gunnar called to him, “Keep your......pace even.”
Fen nodded though he said nothing, just kept running along the marked trail, leaping over the exposed root of a tree, fixing its location in his mind.
Gunnar was now even with him, “Save...your strength for....the sprint into.....the arena...”
Fen nodded again, grimacing at the stitch that was forming in his side. A bit further and the pain was unbearable.
“Side....hurts,” Fen gasped, slowing his stride.
“Breathe deep......slow in.....force the air.....out.”
Fen shook his head, “Cannot....,”
He slowed to a stop, bent double, his hand to his right side, panting as Gunnar circled about, stopping beside him.
“You must run through....the pain,” Gunnar clapped him on the shoulder, “The rest of your