Loredas, 4th Sun’s Dawn, 4E 205
My internal alarm failed me again. Before my trip to The Void and Aetherius, I would wake precisely the time I decided before falling asleep. I was always awake before Rigmor when guarding her. Always!
But Rigmor was up and dressed and gossiping with Cerys, whose giggle woke me.
As I struggled to open my eyes, I recognised the topic of their conversation. When travelling once, Rigmor was in one of her playful moods and expressed curiosity about the size of a giant’s penis. So, I used a bit of Magicka to make the loincloth fall off one that we passed.
Cerys asked, “He didn’t?”
Rigmor replied, “Yeah, I know, right?”
I managed to open my eyes and found two blurry ladies staring at me.
Not realising I was awake, Cerys asked, “Was it…you know…?”
Rigmor replied, “Huge!”
Rigmor saw my eyes were open. But the ladies were still blurry.
Rigmor urgently whispered, “Shh! He’s waking up.”
Cerys giggled again as she ran off.
I had to close my eyes again. I hoped the blurriness would not be there when I opened them again.
Rigmor said as she started walking away, “Hey there, sleepyhead. Up you get! It’s a beautiful day.”
A few seconds later, she replied to herself, “Oh, good morning, Rigmor. Did you sleep well?”
About ten seconds after that, I opened my eyes, and my vision was clear. I followed where I last heard Rigmor and found her standing near a window.
“Good morning, pervert. Did you sleep well?”
“With our peace enveloping me, I slept the best since you became lost. I had forgotten what it was like.”
“There is another problem with what they call my ‘illness’. They have no name for it as they have never encountered it before. How about that? I stuffed up my soul so much it confuses the gods who made us!”
“But the did not make our souls. You told me that once. They are a part of the natural laws of the Aurbis, not Mundus.”
“You did listen occasionally!”
“Only if I was having trouble sleeping. Anyway, what is the other problem?”
“I don’t wake when I am supposed to. I used to say to my internal clock, ‘6:00 AM,’ and I would wake precisely at 6:00 AM. Now I don’t.”
“Your body heals faster when you sleep. Both you and Freathof have told me that. And didn’t they keep you asleep or unconscious so that you could heal? So perhaps your body is telling your internal clock to get lost. Wulf needs to heal!”
“You may be right. No, as per usual, you are right!”
“It’s funny how we figure things out together.”
“Is there something wrong with Cerys?”
“No. Why, did her giggling wake you?”
“You were talking about that time I made that giant’s loincloth fall off.”
“But why would innocent, sweet Cerys want to know of these things?”
“Ha, she has you and her father and everybody else fooled! She makes excellent sleeping elixirs. Whenever she wants to escape Malesam’s scrutiny, she slips some into the mug of warm milk he has each night.”
“Good on her! I suppose she has been doing that since an apprentice at The College of Winterhold?”
“Yeah, but she can never wake up in her lover’s arms. That is kind of sad.”
“Okay, I don’t want to intrude on Cerys’ privacy, even though you are happy to share ours.”
“I told you….”
“Woman talk about those things for many reasons.”
“Anyway, while discussing other things, Cerys and I decided on this dress. What do you think?”
“I liked the one you made, and I got a ‘Yeah, right, pffft! Whatever!’. So, I will say I like it, and you look beautiful in it, and that is the truth!”
“I was thinking of wearing it at the Imperial Palace. I might as well look the part. It could be the last chance I get if anything happens. I wanna go out in style!”
“I failed you once, Rigmor. I can only try my hardest never to fail you again. But I will never again promise always to keep you safe. That was a lie.”
“I know you can’t make that promise. But the safest place I could ever be is beside you.”
“Even when nasty things are trying to rip my limbs off and pull my insides out through my belly button?”
“Well, they all tend to attack you and ignore everybody else. I can run away!”
On the surface, Rigmor was jovial. But I could see it was a front to cover her worry.
“Something is wrong. Do you want to talk about it?”
“Yes, I need to. At times I can’t help but feel so helpless. I wonder sometimes, why can’t I just be normal?”
“You are a young, spectacularly gorgeous Nord woman who seems perfectly normal to me.”
“Then why must I endure this huge weight thrust upon me? It leaves me feeling almost violated. It’s like a curse.”
“It is not just your Mede blood. How many of your cousins share it? How many of your ancestors had it? Your father had it! Gods are interested in you, as they are me. We are supposed to stop something so terrible that The Divines are scared. Why us?”
“Our love! As we have said before, it is powerful!”
“One destiny, one soul and one love for eternity. We bear the weight and endure it together.”
“Well, most of a soul.”
“Look who has developed droll humour to match mine.”
“But Wulf, there is a difference. I am funny!”
“As for it being a curse, don’t I sometimes feel the same? When terrible things happen, I also ask, ‘Why me?’. My parents agreed to Lord Akatosh’s blessing, knowing I would then be a mortal agent. I had no say in it. I doubt many famous heroes or great leaders volunteered for the shit they had to endure. But I have helped a lot of people, so I am content to have been chosen. I hope, when you look back on whatever you have to endure, you can say the same thing.”
Rigmor turned to face the window.
“Every time I try to run away and hide from it, it always comes to find me.”
“It isn’t a curse but circumstances. Your blood might become an issue because of a series of unrelated events. There is no curse on Rigmor Ragnarsdottier that made Titus Mede II die, and a Bandit King usurp the throne.”
“Freathof once told me about a little girl, born at the wrong time, into a world of hurt. She was another poor bastard caught up in a sewer-rat infested royal cesspit, not of her making. And now, at this moment, I know how scared she was feeling. How completely helpless and alone.”
“Rigmor, there are many people who are on your side. You are not alone!”
“Her name was Kintyra, and she didn’t make it. You really don’t have any idea, do you? And you didn’t listen to a word I said.”
I walked close to Rigmor. She turned and she looked up at me with fear and uncertainty.
“You know when I am speaking to an Immortal, whether a Divine, Daedric Prince or other, they will try to crawl into my head. You experienced that with Azura, and it is disturbing. Can you imagine something wholly evil crawling into your mind? You also know that I learned how to protect who I am, the essence of me, by locking what is most important behind an impenetrable barrier. Behind that barrier is every single memory I have of you! All our conversations. How you looked. How you smelled. How your skin and lips felt and how it was to be touched by you. Even a brush along the face as you passed. They make up a huge part of who I am, and I will not let some filthy thing see them or judge them or use them as a weapon against either of us. Sometimes I have difficulty understanding, but I always listen and remember.”
“I am sorry, Wulf. I know you listen, and you understand me more than any other. It was an insensitive thing to say.”
“No, it was understandable. I get it, Rigmor. Your fear is justified. It is yours, and I can only give all I have to help as much as possible. You have run into battles against incredible odds without fear. They were enemies that you could see and understand. This ‘sewer-rat infested royal cesspit’ is full of invisible and unknown dangers. I will be by your side as we wade through it together.”
“It is an apt analogy. I have stayed away from politics as much as I can. However, the Bandit King has dragged me into it deeper than ever before.”
“I know a lot about Kintyra.”
“You know about her Dragonborn? I thought she was just another forgotten victim of this game they play.”
“Kintyra’s story is well known by many. In some parts of High Rock, they even have a festival commemorating her and mourning her death.”
“Please, tell me about it.”
“Kintyra was tricked into leading an Imperial army to Glenpoint, where rebel forces abducted her with the help of the Duke of Glenpoint. Kintyra’s fate was less than kind, and she ended up executed in Glenpoint. The precise year she was killed is debated. Some think she was kept alive long enough to bear children. She might have been alone when executed, but the people of Glenpoint, along with those of Glenumbra Moors, instigated an enormous manhunt for her killers in an event still remembered every 23rd of Frostfall during a festival called Broken Diamonds.”
“That is a lot of people!”
“Yes, even in Evermor during its darkest days, Kintyra was not forgotten.”
“That place made the politics of Cyrodiil seem tame!”
“No matter how much the various histories differ, they all agree that the person who planned the ambush of Kintyra was Queen Potema. I became Hero of Solitude when I sent Potema’s soul to The Void for eternity. Rigmor, I avenged Kintyra!”
“I am so glad she was not forgotten. And you, my dear Dragonborn, are my hero for fucking up Potema!”
“You know, we did talk about Potema via our rings, but you didn’t listen to a word I said.”
“Ha, I know you never mentioned Kintyra to me! Now shoo while I get dressed. Wait for me in the dining hall.”
I laughed, but instead of walking to the dining hall, I made my way to my room.
The armour I was wearing was a bit bulky, costly, and intimidating due to my size. I wanted my Lord’s Armour, the set that looks like clothes but has ebony inserts. I also didn’t want to carry a shield around, so I needed my two-handed sword as well.
Luckily, I had not placed them in my pocket plane as I was not to teleport anywhere.
I summoned Serana, who popped into existence about twenty seconds later.
“Wulf, do you need our help?”
“Not yet, but I do need a set of armour and a sword from Silverpeak Lodge’s basement. Can you remember my armour with the fur cape?”
“It is the best-looking set you have ever worn!”
“Can you bring it, including the wooden shield? I also need my two-handed sword.”
“The one with the dragon head on the pommel?”
“Any messages for anybody?”
“Tell Olette I haven’t forgotten about her stuff.”
“She is going to end up as weird as you.”
“And I have a message for you, Lady Serana Harkonsdotter, Baroness of Volkihar Island.”
“Despite your father calling himself a Lord, his noble title was never recognised, and your right to inherit did not exist. Under Skyrim law, I became the owner of Volkihar. I arranged with High Queen Elisif to have Volkihar gifted to you. Along with the castle and island, you also receive that title. You can have a Coat of Arms if you so desire. You just have to wait for the machinery of government to dot the I’s and cross the T’s.”
“My mother has been trespassing in the castle she thought she owned? She will find that amusing, I hope.”
“The place is yours, Serana. Valerica can moan as much as she wants, but she is safe from persecution thanks to our efforts.”
“Thank you, Wulf. I will have to think about what to do with it. First up, I will have it cleaned and repaired.”
“I was tempted to keep it and turn it into an extension of the orphanage for those who wish to learn the sailing and fishing skills.”
“That is a good idea. Now, if I tell the others that I have been to Bruma and not asked about Rigmor, I will be lynched.”
“Rigmor didn’t quite give me the big greeting hug I hoped for.”
“Pissed off at you?”
“Yes, but it is complicated. I think the yelling at each other is over, but we are not exactly a couple again. Rigmor needs time, and there was a love rival.”
“Don’t tell me you thought, even for a second, that Rigmor would choose another over you?”
“As I said, complicated.”
“Okay, I shall place a Mark here, then get the armour and sword. I should only be five minutes.”
“There is one more thing. The Emperor’s Consort is a Daughter of Coldharbour. Her name is Morag. Have you read about the coven I wiped out at the Bloodlet Throne?”
“Yes, and they were animals, not vampires!”
“They consumed children, but some were left unharmed. Those children were marked by Morag, whom that coven called their Broodmother. These children would make their way to Morag’s central coven from Skyrim, Cyrodiil and maybe even other places. We have no idea where that is.”
“I can ask Valerica, but I doubt she will know much if anything about those vampires. They probably came into being long after she ended up in The Soul Cairn. But logically, the central coven would be in Hammerfell. It has borders with many provinces of Tamriel and is sparsely populated. The Redguard reverence for their ancestors means they leave undead alone.”
“Yes, Redguard who destroy undead are pariahs. Isran would not be welcome in Hammerfell.”
“Is Morag a Daywalker?”
“No, she isn’t. I don’t know if Morag is a Vampire Lord.”
“Does Morag pose a danger to Rigmor? Is she central to this Divine Task?”
“Morag has placed herself in a position of power, and I do believe she is working with Molag Bal. She could be part of it, but I don’t know enough at the moment.”
“We are ready to help however we can. I shall get your armour and sword now.”
Serana vanished. As I waited, I wrote a note to Malesam outlining what Serana said about Hammerfell. About ten minutes later, Serana popped back into my room. I quickly took the cumbersome bundle from her.
“Thank you, Serana.”
“Oh, that Sethri person ended up leaving with a certain Priestess of Azura. She came back a day later smiling. It seems he has some redeeming features. Probably a large one.”
Serana vanished, and I donned my Lord’s Armour.
I knew, from past experiences, that I would still have a while to wait for Rigmor. I headed to the dining hall and found Captain Grimbold in his usual spot. He usually carries a studded club with him, but this morning he had an impressive two-handed ebony hammer strapped to his back.
“Good morning, Captain Grimbold. Is that hammer made from ebony mined in Solstheim?”
“Yes, Sir, every Bruma guard now has ebony weapons. A Khajiit mage from Skyrim visited and placed a spell on each weapon.”
“Was his name J’zargo?”
“Yes, Master Mage J’zargo. Charming fellow.”
“Small but expensive items didn’t vanish while he was visiting, did they?”
“No, Sir. Malesam was warned about J’zargo’s habit, and he warned me. I showed J’zargo how uncomfortable our dungeon is. He behaved himself.”
“For you to carry that heavy thing all day means you think there will be trouble.”
“It has been brewing, even before you arrived. But I think you are a catalyst for trouble. I understand you get sent to where the trouble is, so don’t think I am blaming you.”
“The Divines send me to resolve issues. But I have to figure out what the issue is. Sometimes they provide me with little information to start with.”
“That sounds like Imperial Intelligence when I was in the Legion. Go here, and there might be bad people, and if they are there, we have no idea how many there may be.”
“Have you been with the garrison for long, Captain?
“I was born in Bruma, and both parents were in the garrison. Grandpa on Dad’s side was as well. I took a break to help in The Great War but was quick to put this armour back on after it.”
“It must have been hard to witness what happened to Count Carvain and his family.”
“They were good people, Sir. It makes no sense when good people die, and we end up with him on our throne.”
“You stand here and are privy to many meetings in this hall. I am glad you feel comfortable enough to tell it how you see it.”
“Without hearing a word of these meetings, I would have guessed your thoughts on all this. Alone Milady Rigmor is formidable. Together, you two are of a strength not seen since Emperor Martin Septim and the Hero of Kvatch.”
“That is high praise indeed! However, we are babes in the wood when it comes to politicking.
“It always ends at the point of a sword, Sir.”
“Or the sharp edge of an executioner’s axe. I stared at one of those ready to descend on my neck once. It was not pleasant!”
“I imagine not, Sir, but you are still here. Did the axe break on your neck? That is how they would write it in the stories, Sir.”
“No, Captain. A Dragon saved me. I repaid his kindness by killing him when I visited Sovngarde.”
“Nasty business that, Sir.”
“How would the city fair against a siege?”
“We can hold for quite a while no matter how big the opposing force. We have retired veterans offering their service. Since some are younger than me, it is hard to say no. Some can man the walls, and others provide support elsewhere. Any one of them would be a match for the best of those toy soldiers.”
“I am surprised at how few men there are in the garrison. The Holds in Skyrim have far more guards.
“The last Count was well-loved and a fair man. His protection was goodwill and fairness. May I say, Sir, that Milady’s Rigmor and Sigunn are also well-loved! That may count for something if allies are needed.”
“I will ask my friends, called The Sentinels, to aid in defence of Bruma if it comes to that scenario. But we are far from that horror at the moment.”
“Sir, I have read your journals. I know there is a lot that you have not yet had published for various reasons. But The Sentinels would boost our defence immeasurably.”
“They are formidable, and the mages can even repair arrows to the knee!”
“Will miracles never cease?”
“Keep up the good work, Captain. I know that Freathof, Malesam etcetera all have great confidence in you and your men. I will bring back Milady Rigmor.”
“I know you will, Sir.”
“Please pass this message to Advisor Malesam when he makes an appearance.”
“Yes, Guardian General.”
I handed Captain Grimbold the message. He then gave a crisp salute and resumed his statue-like state in the corner.
I sat and waited for Rigmor.
Rigmor entered and took a few steps before realising I wasn’t in my bulky armour.
“Did you teleport or use a portal?”
“No, I am not silly enough to do what a god advised me was a bad idea.”
“Ahh, you summoned a Sentinel!”
“I asked Serana to retrieve this armour and told her she is now a Baroness like I mentioned to you last night.”
“Did you ask her about Morag?”
“Yes, and she will ask Valerica, her mother, about her. Serana doubts Valerica will know anything. However, Serana did suggest the logical place for Morag’s coven would be Hammerfell. I have given Captain Grimbold a note for Malesam outlining her logic.”
“Why do you have a greatsword?”
“I think it will be easier if I don’t lug a shield to these official engagements. I am not too bad with the greatsword. Good enough to chop up annoying nobles and New Imperials.”
“Come on then, Wulf, follow me.”
As we headed for the exit, Rigmor said, “It is such a beautiful day, Wulf.”
We exited Burma Castle and into bright sunlight. It was a perfect day for a long horse ride.
“So, Milady, where exactly are we going?”
“I want to visit an old place where I used to play as a kid, as I promised, just for old times sake before we head for the Imperial City.”
“You know how important your childhood memories are to me.”
“Yes, that is why I chose this place first. You will love it!”
We reached our horses then I asked, “Have you been to this place since becoming Countess?”
“No, I was waiting for you so we could recall my childhood together.”
Rigmor could see that meant a lot to me. Before I started sniffling, she smiled then vaulted onto Ren.
We weaved our way through her citizens at a faster pace than I thought safe!
As soon as we were out the gate, she bolted. Ren had always been quick for his size. Hashire snorted in indignation and didn’t wait for permission before galloping to catch up.
I am sure Ren deliberately went wide at one stage just to startle a poor deer. Rigmor laughed, and I had to smile at her enjoyment.
Teleporting and using Bostin helps save time when doing Divine Tasks. But I have missed riding with Rigmor. What was different this time is I was following her.
After a couple of hours, Rigmor said, “We are on the Orange Road, which takes you to Chorrol. That city is amazing! I’ll take you there one day.”
Half an hour later, Rigmor and Ren suddenly stopped. Hashire skidded to a halt, wondering what kind of idiot was riding him.
“We’re here! Leave the horses untethered. They won’t go far with the green grass to graze on.”
Rigmor started walking towards a lonely and very tall tree.
I followed her through the lush grass and started to worry. There was a rickety old ladder, obviously made by a child with very few carpenter’s skills, up the side of the tree.
Rigmor stood, staring up, and said, “See this tree… this is MY tree.”
I looked up and could see a platform. There must be another ladder for those idiots who wanted to go higher.
“Umm, Rigmor, we are still in the County of Bruma. You own all these trees!”
She and stared at me the said, “Haha, you idiot. This is MY SPECIAL TREE. Got it?”
“Yes, Milady. I got it.”
“Have you climbed it since you have been back? I guess not. So that ladder, which looks like a child made it, has been sitting here in the weather for at least eight or nine years and probably a lot longer than that. Rigmor, I don’t think….”
“Haha, come on, Wulf, where’s your sense of adventure?”
Before I could voice any more perfectly sensible objections, Rigmor raced to the tree and started climbing like she was not wearing steel plate armour! I followed but a bit more cautiously.
“Haha, come on, Wulf, you slowpoke.”
I replied, “I don’t want my headstone to read, ‘Here rests Wulf, Dragonborn, hero and real nice guy. Died following derrière up a tree.”
I made it to the platform and silently thanked The Divines. I had to push a few branches out of the way to find the equally dilapidated second ladder.
Rigmor was sitting at the very end of a thick, well-weathered and dead branch when I reached the top.
Rigmor patted a spot next to her then said, “Over here, Wulf.”
“Freathof said he taught you mathematics. I assume he covered the topic of leverage. I think I will sit here where the branch connects to the trunk and have a Telekinesis spell ready.”
Rigmor laughed once more as I tentatively sat down, listening for tell-tale snaps of splintering wood.
“That over there. That’s the Imperial City. Quite impressive, huh?
“Yes. Pretty damn big, that is for sure! I would love to have seen it when the Ayleid were here. The White-Gold Tower was exactly that. White marble with gold highlights. Very much in the style of the Snow Elf temple in The Hidden Valley.”
“Can you remember The Great Forest that I told you about on the way to Riften? Oh, of course, you do because you kept all of our memories in that empty head of yours. That’s it over there, and it stretches to the mountains on the border with Hammerfell.”
There was something wrong. Rigmor had suddenly abandoned the laughter and joy of our ride and adopted the melancholy look I know so well.
“You have always found beauty in nature. I can imagine you sitting here as a child, enjoying the view, the sounds of the birds and wind. Maybe even spotting an animal or passing person unaware of the brave tree climber spying on them.”
“I’ve been meaning to come back here with you, but we never got round to it. I guess now is as good a time as any… just in case… for old time’s sake. I might not get another chance now.”
“I am not going to insult you with my usual reassurances. I can see how worried you are. Take as much time as you need. I am in no hurry to enter the Cyrodiil political swamp.”
I turned to look at the Imperial City once more. It is enormous, but I swear on The Divines, I will tear it down brick by brick if I have to find and rescue Rigmor from some dark, rat-infested prison.
“Yanno, I took it for granted when I returned home. All these places would be there for me to rediscover like whenever.”
“My dear, sweet, Rigmor. That is how it should have been. But the reality is different, and we must stay strong and confident.”
“I thought no more running. No more hiding. But after everything, there’s still no place for me actually to feel safe and… and belong.”
Rigmor is terrified something is going to happen. I might be a formidable opponent, but the world of Cyrodiil politics is a monster with nowhere for me to stab or hack. How am I supposed to protect Rigmor from it?
Rigmor continued, “Seems like the crap keeps following me everywhere I go, right, pfft! But here… That little girl is still playing among the trees. No one can touch me here.”
I closed my eyes and tried to imagine a young Rigmor running around but I couldn’t. Every other time Rigmor has told me a story about her childhood, I could almost relive it with her. Now I was simply aware of this scared woman beside me.
I waited for a few minutes, looking for a way to improve Rigmor’s mood and hoping for a sign that she dragged herself out of it. I finally decided that going somewhere else may help.
I asked, “Rigmor, is there more of your childhood you would like to show?”
Rigmor smiled then said, “There sure is! Let’s go!”
I was about to smile back when Rigmor rose and stood precariously on top of the rotten, long dead branch.
I looked down and felt sick. I have not worried about Rigmor hurting herself in the past. Even in the middle of a melee, I trusted she would be okay. I didn’t have time to analyse why there was this change. Rigmor slid past me then scrambled down the tree.
I want to say I was almost as fast as Rigmor with my descent. In reality, I fell the last ten feet.
Rigmor just staired. She was that portrait over the fireplace once more. In a much younger voice, she said, “Come on, Wulf, this way.”
I left my traitorous dignity where it lay injured and followed my beloved.
In a more mature voice, Rigmor explained, “We mustn’t go too deep. There are still wolves that live in the forest. But they mostly come out at night. When we were kids, we would come here to get out of the cold of the mountains. There should be a stream….”
Rigmor stopped to listen. Then in a much younger voice, exclaimed excitedly, “Listen. Can you hear it? Over there… Come on!”
Rigmor hurried into a clearing where she startled at least a dozen deer who scattered, braying and muttering about the rude intruder.
The clearing was the type of spot I knew a young Rigmor would have found irresistible. A child could have all sorts of adventures in one compact area.
I wish this visit could genuinely bring joy to both of us, but Rigmor was starting to sound like that time in the Black Tower when she was paralysed by fear. Her child voice sounded excited, while her adult voice sounded terrified.
I desperately hoped I would not hear another voice. That final plea still haunts me, but my mind does not care. It replayed the horror as if it was precious. I closed my eyes, and Rigmor’s voice from the past ripped at my soul, “Dragonborn. My dear sweet Dragonborn. I love you…DRAGONBORN! NO… NO! Dragonborn, help! No, please, leave him alone. You have me! HELP ME! Mercy!”
I failed to protect my beloved then. What makes me think I can do it now?
An enthusiastic adult Rigmor dragged me back to reality as she said, “Oh my, it’s just as I remember it. Hey, sit and relax. I just want to spend a few moments with my thoughts.”
Was Rigmor’s fear justified? We don’t even know what we are walking into, so perhaps it is. I have to be the strong one, even if it is as false as Ser Robere’s affection. I am just as much a charlatan as he.
I found a log to sit on and observed Rigmor. Fuck them all at the Imperial Palace! If I think this fear and uncertainty is too much, I will do my Guardian duty and carry her home screaming and kicking if I have to. Let Blackwell and the rest travel to Bruma. We are doing the Emperor a favour after all!
In a slightly mocking child’s voice, Rigmor asked, “Do you like flowers, Dragonborn? No… silly me. I forgot, how could you, ‘You are a mighty warrior!’”
A few seconds later, still in a child’s voice, Rigmor said, “Just kidding. I remember what you did with the red flowers. You gave me one in Skyrim. That was so sweet.”
The flower was not much compensation for my failure.
Rigmor continued to walk around, occasionally bending or kneeling to caress and smell a flower.
Adult Rigmor said, “I should bring my stuff down here and do some paintings. Then I won’t have to take the flowers home. It is kinda sad when they all, you know… droopy droop droop.”
A few seconds later, a teen Rigmor, as I imagined her fourteen-year-old self would sound, asked, “Hey! Did you hear that? I think it’s a deer!”
A crack sounded, and bushes could be seen rustling. A deer bounded away from drinking at the stream.
Teenage Rigmor concluded, “Yeah, I think it was. I think it’s gone now.”
Normally I would have quipped that we just saw at least a dozen deer. But my Rigmor was not the one asking about the single deer. It was the Rigmor of years ago.
Rigmor continued to wander and make remarks. she was still switching between adult, teen and child. This mental trauma is all going to come to a head soon. It must.
Adult Rigmor asked, “Did you know there used to be Minotaur around here… in these woods? How cool is that Dragonborn? They’re all gone now… poor Minotaur.”
Rigmor is reaching for the safety the child who played here felt. The adult Rigmor knows we are not safe anywhere. At least in each other’s close company, we can feel safer. Our peace allows us to ignore these feelings of pending doom and the pull of Divine and mortal expectations. But then we have to part and individually assailed by these things.
Rigmor was a young child as she spotted something in the pond.
“Hey, a frog! Here froggy… froggy froggy. Doh! It plopped off.”
Adult Rigmor came walking towards me and then noticed an old hut.
“Oh, my days, Dragonborn, come on, quick.”
Rigmor entered the shelter, and I followed. She sat on a wooden bench.
“Come on, sit over here… next to me.”
She was a child again. I decided I would role-play with her. It would have made no sense to drag her back to reality. This charade must be leading to something.
I sat next to her. I don’t know if Rigmor felt our quiet envelope us, but perhaps it will help.
I excitedly exclaimed, in what I hoped was a childlike voice, “Hey Rigmor! This place is so cool!”
“I know. It is our den.”
“You know, hidey-hole… if we’re quiet, no one will ever find us. We can stay here, live out here in the forest, forever.”
“Yeah! Just us against the world. We don’t need them!”
“Shh! You must be quiet and very, very still. We’re safe now. Nobody will ever find us in here.”
A flash and young Rigmor was sitting there in her adult armour. She was a beautiful child but would have been wearing clothes suitable for adventuring in. A jacket that is not too heavy but just right for keeping dry and pushing through brambles. Trousers covered in mud, probably with one or both knees worn through.
I wonder who the friend was that the child Rigmor talked to? I hope they never realised that half a dragon had intruded upon their life.
My beautiful, here and now adult Rigmor dragged me back.
“Thank you, Wulf.”
“You know I am always here for you.”
“I know. Shall we go?”
“Yes, let’s get this over with so we can laugh at how frightened we were of the monster under the bed.”
In an unconvincing tone, Rigmor replied, “I’m sure there is nothing to worry about.”
We both left the shelter and headed back to the horses when Rigmor stopped, turned and rushed back.
Rigmor drew her sword and started hacking into the door frame of the shelter. Many wild, uncontrolled swings missed as often as they hit. Each swing was punctuated by swearing and grunting from the effort.
After several minutes she collapsed and started crawling like she was injured and started weeping.
I rushed over.
Rigmor screamed, “AZURA!”
The only other time I have heard such desperation in anyone’s voice was from Rigmor’s mouth. When I lay dying, Rigmor was being dragged away by the scum who wanted to sacrifice her. On that day, it was a quiet, ‘Mercy!”
My greatest fear of five minutes ago had been realised.
I begged, “For the love of the Gods! Rigmor, I am here! Please…”
For the first time since crossing the border, I touched my beloved Rigmor as I helped her back to her feet.
Rigmor’s eyes were wide with fear.
Rigmor demanded, “Promise me, Wulf, promise me. If anything happens to me…if I don’t make it…Kill every single one of them!”
I picked Rigmor up, and she wrapped her arms around my neck. We sobbed, and the weather changed from sunny to pouring rain as The Divines wept with us.
I don’t know how long after, but Rigmor started to stroke my hair.
“I am sorry, Wulf. I shouldn’t ask such things of you.”
“We both know that I would seek revenge the likes the world has never seen. I would not stop till all who were involved lay in bloody masses of torn flesh. All signs of Wulf would vanish as my Dovah saved me from the pain. A perfect instrument of killing without remorse would be the last thing Morag and the others would see before The Void claimed them.”
Sometime later, Rigmor whispered, “Come, my beautiful Guardian, we had better get going once more.”
I put her down but held her hand and said, “We are a perfect pair. We even synchronise our insanity.”
Rigmor smiled, and we walked to the horses, not looking back at Rigmor’s childhood paradise.
Hashire gave me a welcoming neigh. Ren was too busy munching on grass.
Rigmor vaulted onto Ren and started riding at a rapid pace.
I galloped up to her and said, “Slow down. The road is slippery!”
Rigmor nodded her head, and we continued at a more sedate pace.
Rigmor road Ren off to the side and said, “Hang on. Gotta pee bad!”
Rigmor dismounted, rushed off into the bushes and came back a few minutes later.
She came trotting out without a word, and we continued on our way.
Just as we passed the ruins of Fort Empire, Rigmor said, “We are almost there.”
Rigmor deviated from the main road as we rode through a farm.
Rigmor expertly manoeuvred Ren between two moving cows. She is an exceptional rider!
About an hour later, we approached the hamlet of Weye. It existed before the bridge but grew smaller after its construction. That was opposite to what one would expect.
The bridge is what prevented Casius from retaking The Imperial City. A relatively small contingent of archers could rain death down upon conventional troops. They wouldn’t stop me.
We stabled the horses. I took longer with Hashire as he let me know he had a stone in his hoof.
Rigmor waited patiently for me.
I asked, “How are you feeling?”
“Better. I am sorry about back there.”
“We are both guilty of inventing worse case scenarios. I understand why that happened, and there is absolutely nothing to apologise for.”
“No, it wasn’t clever, or called for, or ladylike.”
“Codswallop! A lot has been thrown at you the last twenty-four hours.”
“Come on, let’s book a room at the hotel.”
I followed Rigmor as the rain started to lessen.
We entered, and the first thing I saw was Lord Akatosh’s Avatar, solidified and magnificent.
Rigmor explained, “This is the Plaza District. It used to be called the Talos Plaza, but since the Concordat, they dropped that name. The hotel is just to the right. We can book a room, settle in, and I’ll show you around later if you like.”
A young-looking Wood Elf was staring at me. Then, to my horror, he yelled out, “It’s the Dragonborn!”
I rushed over to him and said, “Not so loud. I think you have me mistaken for somebody else.”
“Can it be true? Oh, the gods have brought you to me, and I am so excited.”
“What is your name?”
“I am Balin, and I can’t believe I am actually standing right next to the Dragonborn! I am your number one fan!”
“Yes, well, you did a good job of recognising me when nobody should.”
Rigmor laughed then said, “Oh, my!” She then laughed some more.
“Balin, how did you recognise me?”
“I have followed all of your adventures and have the most extensive collection of news clippings in Cyrodiil. Everyone knows about your noble and brave deeds, Dragonborn.”
“I am glad to meet you, Balin. But can you please keep your gushing down to whisper level? Thanks.”
“I just want you to know…I love you so much! I will do anything you want, just name it. I am your eternal servant. I am your batman!”
“I don’t need any help at the moment, thank you. It was generous of you to offer.”
“Well, if you change your mind, I am always around. Just call for me, Dragonborn. Yes, call, and I will be there.”
As Balin walked away, he said, “Buh-bye!”
I walked back to Rigmor, who exclaimed, “I can’t believe that just happened! Man, that was creepy.”
“Imagine if we deliberately stayed apart as The Divines were going to request. We go through all the heartache that would have caused, and then Balin fucks it up by yelling out who I am across one of the busiest plazas in The Imperial City.”
“Oh, that would not have been good!”
“Well, let’s hope he hasn’t ruined the surprise for Morag.”
“He is still over there, staring and waving!”
“Do you want to adopt him?”
“No! Now let’s get out of here.”
We entered the Tiber Septim Inn, and the concierge immediately recognised Rigmor.
“Oh…er, Countess. It’s an honour to have you as our guest. How can we help you today?”
I knew Rigmor had a stick up the arse noble voice. Now I got to hear it for the first time.
“Anais, I require a room with two separate beds, one for me and one for my personal batman. We will be staying a few nights.”
“Of course, milady, I’ll charge your account accordingly. The room upstairs on the left has two single beds and would be perfect. The room next door had bathing facilities for your use.”
“Thank you. Some luggage should arrive soon from Bruma. Please send it right up.”
“Of course, and if you require anything else, just ask. Your batman has full access to the laundry room, located in the basement.”
Anais then addressed me, “Batman, adjacent to the laundry room is a place to fill buckets for your Countess’ bath. There is also the cesspit, so you’ll also be able to empty the Countess’ piss pot from under her bed.”
I growled, and Rigmor laughed, “Yeah, hahaha…you see what I did there? Come on, batman.”
I followed Rigmor with a huge grin plastered on my face. I would rather hear her laugh and be the target of her practical jokes than see her frightened.
We entered the room, and Rigmor commanded with her haughty voice, “Shut the door, batman.”
Rigmor sat on the end of a bed then sighed, “Aah! That’s better. All the comforts of home.”
“Your batman might mistake your head for the cesspit. He is new at this.”
“Okay, okay, I was just kidding.”
“Relax, it was quite funny, but this is now war! You may have fired the opening salvo, Miss Snotty Voice, but my revenge will make you hoist the white flag of surrender!”
“You said that to the children at Silverpeak Lodge, and it was you who surrendered!”
“We shall see, yes, well shall see. Bahahaha!”
“You don’t do a persuasive evil guy.”
“You used your stick up the arse voice. Do I have to put up with that tomorrow?”
“I am afraid so.”
“I have been to a lot of cities, but The Imperial City is more than impressive. And it is huge!”
“There are six main districts, which surround the Imperial Palace. You used to access the Palace Gardens from all districts, but Sethius had since stopped all that. To get to the Palace, we’ll have to go through the Temple District, but that’s the last place we’ll go, pffft.”
“Don’t you think I, of all people, might want to visit the Temple District? Anyway, it sounds like Sethius is a bit paranoid.”
“Yes, he had probably done things for security. It makes sense, as the Temple District leads onto the Waterfront. I’ll show you later, but for now, Dragonborn….”
“You need to rest. I can see how exhausted you are.”
“Yes, it has been a…difficult morning?”
“We shall visit there again and take a picnic. That reminds me, what baggage are you expecting?”
“My expensive dress and jewels. You didn’t think I spent all morning getting into this tin can, did you?”
“You spent all that time picking an outfit?”
“Yes, Cerys and I had to narrow it down to ten possibilities. That was easy. But finally, choose one? That was more difficult than you could imagine.”
“Ahh, I’ll take your word for it.”
“So, can I sleep for at least an hour?”
“Yes, I will pull a chair over and look sternly at any dust mote that dares approach my Countess!”
“You could go for a wander around if you like?”
“Rigmor, what chances are there I would leave your side?”
“None. I just wanted to hear you say it.”
“Put your head down, and I will wake you when I hear your empty stomach rumbling.”
By the time I quietly placed the chair near the head of the bed and sat down, Rigmor was asleep.
As I sat watching my beloved, I noticed the piss pot under the bed and laughed. That was a good joke on Rigmor’s behalf!
An hour later, I woke my beloved, “Rigmor, wake up.”
“Hmm? Oh, hey. Are you okay?”
“I am wonderful, but let me have a look at you. Mm…you can sleep some more if you want to.”
“No, it’s okay, let’s get something to eat. I’m starving!”
“Where is this food going to appear from magically?”
“I’ll go get some soup and bread. Anais always has some bubbling away in the kitchen.”
“Isn’t that the duty of the batman?”
“Nah, he cleans up the mess after the food has travelled through the noble and out the other end.”
“You are so kind!”
Rigmor went to get some soup. I used a washbasin to clean off some of the road grime.
You learn something new every day. Washbasins can also get bath rings!
A few minutes later, I joined Rigmor at the dining table. She was staring intently into her bowl.
“Something wrong with your soup?”
“I am just trying to identify what the meat is.”
“Perhaps some guests have vanished!”
“Wulf, you are weird.”
“Mine looks more appetising. Want to swap?”
We swapped bowls, and I must admit, whatever meat is in the one Rigmor had does look a bit suspect.
I said, “I think Olette would like this one. I believe it is Skeever. Street food for starving orphans, a delicacy for stick up the bum nobles.”
“Your one looks no more appetising.”
“The bread is just bread. That might be safe to eat?”
“Hey! Why don’t we talk while enjoying a few drinks? I know a great tavern just around the corner. Would you like that?”
“It sounds like more fun than ‘guess the ingredient!’.
“Come on the, my silly Dragonborn, oops, Guardian.”
We stood to go, then Rigmor suddenly turned around.
“You mentioned Olette. You missed three years of her growing up and the other children!”
‘Yes, I did. Let’s get those drinks, and we can talk about whatever you want.”
I followed Rigmor outside. There were far fewer people out and about than I expected.
Rigmor said, “I wonder if we’ll bump in you adoring fan again? Hahaha!”
As we turned left at an intersection, Rigmor informed me, “We are almost there. With a bit of luck, we’ll get a side table.”
“Here it is, The Foaming Flask. I hope they have nice local brews.”
We entered and were greeted warmly by the barkeep, “I’m Tessio, and I welcome you to The Foaming Flask. Make yourselves at home!”
Rigmor was thrilled as she said, “Look, a corner table! It must be your Lucky Coin, Wulf.”
Rigmor quickly made her way there, and I soon joined her.
I quipped, “This is nice. Not as noisy as most in Skyrim, and at least the furniture hasn’t been destroyed by a brawling Countess.”
“Oh, that. You must have spoken to Colin.”
“Yes, it was nice to meet the person you have harassed all these years.”
“Apart from that unfortunate brawl, did he say anything bad about me?”
“Are you kidding? He is your adoring fan!”
“How did that strange person recognise you?”
“Who knows, he could be a savant. They tend to get fixated on something and become experts. So, what do you want to drink?”
“I’ll have what you are having, as long as it has it has a high alcohol content!”
“Okay, l will see what Tessio has from the local brewers.”
“Tessio, milady would like to try something local and strong.”
“I have just the thing. Take a seat, and I’ll be right over.”
I rejoined Rigmor, and a few seconds later, Tessio came over and plonked two bottles on the table. He said, “Here you go, two house specials called Ye Olde Special Brew. On the house!”
I asked Rigmor, “Skol?”
“Oh, it is a challenge? Okay, skol!”
I finished the bottle and gave an appreciative burp.
Rigmor got halfway then coughed. She gasped, “Wow, what is this stuff?”
“I don’t know, but I wouldn’t spill any on your armour. It will probably eat through the metal.”
Rigmor took a breath and finished the rest of her bottle.
I remarked, “This is nice. We haven’t done this often enough.”
“Hey, do you remember that time we got thrown out of The Bannered Mare?”
“When you got us thrown out, you mean. You warned Mikael not to play Ragnar the Red again. And when he did, you threatened to shove his Lute up his chute.”
“You had that planned. You wanted to take me to Breezehome and molest me!”
“We made quite a scene, The Thane with a skinny teenager with an almost bald head walking hand in hand towards, shock and scandal, your house!”
“You blew raspberries at several prominent citizens who stared at us.”
“What about those clothes that were in your bedroom? That beautiful red dress is in my cupboard at home. My apartment, not the castle.”
“There are things in your cupboards and not the floor?”
“Special clothes, like that one. You saw I kept all the things that reminded me of you.”
“I never did find out who left those clothes for us.”
“Your father. I think he was playing matchmaker.”
“Maybe he watched?”
I laughed, and so did Rigmor.
“We stood and talked about the moons, stars and the Aurora.”
“You didn’t fool me about the moons being made out of cheese.”
“Remember when we visited the inn in Windhelm.”
“I laughed about naming my horse after Baa’Ren-Dar. You have told me several times how that laugh made you positive you loved me.”
“You could still laugh and see beauty after all you had been through. That has always amazed me.”
“There was something else I remember clearly from there. You were angry at my story, and your Dovah came forth. But even though your eyes were his, you also cried. So don’t think you lose who you are when the Dovah is prominent!”
“You have given me that warning several times, but I am a bit slow.”
“That night in Breezehome was wonderful and right. Yet when I first became Countess, I suddenly became terrified that people would find out.”
“I don’t want to ruin the mood by discussing the weird morality of Cyrodiil nobility.”
“What about Mr Bear?”
“You were so sure you would be safe if I let him loose.”
“I never did find out why I could do that, you know. I just kinda knew.”
“I still think it was Lady Kynareth who blessed you. Maybe she knew something about Mr Bear that made her think, ‘He would be a handy ally for those two!’.
“Sometimes, I wonder what happened to Mr Bear.”
“He is probably a well-loved winter cloak worn by a smelly Nord barbarian.”
“Just kidding. Mr Bear would make a much better rug in front of a fireplace than a cloak.”
“Did you see any of the children before coming to Cyrodiil?”
“Just Olette. As she told me, she grew up and out. She is fifteen now and almost as tall as you. She will grow into a beautiful woman and already has boys lining up to court her. However, her big brothers and sisters tend to scare them away.”
“The Sentinels were terrific. They used to visit me until the borders closed.”
“None of them left and were all there, every single one of them when I returned from Aetherius. That is so humbling, Rigmor.”
“They never gave up on you. Unlike the woman who loves you more than life itself.”
“Please, that is old ground covered ages ago.”
“You think that yesterday is ages ago?”
“Weird. Just weird.”
“Has Baa’Ren-Dar been visiting?”
“Every few months. He had a few choice words to say about Bobby, and I was not polite with my reply. We are still a bit frosty with each other.”
“Rebellious daughter and concerned father. That is an age-old story.”
“He knew about us. I think they all did. It was okay when I was just Rigmor but not okay when I was Countess. I can see why you got mad at that silliness.”
“We are entering areas that will ruin the night.”
“Yes, I think we need to steer this back onto the right track with more alcohol. Another Ye Olde Special Brew?”
Rigmor walked over to the bar. I half expected her to order drinks in her snooty noble voice. But she didn’t!
“Hey, sweetheart, two more of the same?”
“Yes, here’s some coin. Worry about the change until we have finished drinking.”
“Okay, I’ll bring them right over.”
Rigmor sat down and looked relaxed.
Tessio came over and plopped two bottles of Ye Old Special Brew on the table.
Rigmor picked hers up and said, “Skol!”
I downed my second as quickly as my first.
Rigmor tried valiantly and did get further than her first bottle. She coughed and spluttered, then croaked, “I guess they don’t call it special brew for nothing, right?”
“Less talking, more drinking!”
Rigmor looked at me with daggers then finished off her bottle.
I said, “I wonder what our rings would be like to use when pickled?”
“Um, you won’t be mad, will you?”
“How can I promise that if I don’t know what I am not supposed to be mad about? Phew, that was a long sentence!”
“Well, on the first anniversary of you being missing, I did kind of get pickled at The Roxey. Then I got mad and upset and walked down to the docks and…well…you know.”
“Um, upchucked and poisoned all the fish? Ah, fell in the water?”
“I cursed Mara and all the other Divines and threw the ring as far as I could! Please, don’t be mad at me.”
I burst out laughing, and all the other patrons stared at the madman. Just when I thought I had the hysterics under control, Rigmor gave me one of her death stares. That started me off again.
Rigmor demanded, “What is so funny?”
“Your temper, for one thing. But I thought if I wear my ring, will I be able to chat with a fish that swallowed your ring?”
“That would be interesting. What do you think they would say?”
Rigmor tried not to laugh. But it was such a lousy pun she gave up, and we laughed together loud and strong.
I heard Tessio say to a client, “Two Special Brews, and they are off their heads!”
I assured Rigmor, “Don’t worry. When Lady Mara wants us to have the rings back, she will get them to us.”
Rigmor wiped tears of laughter from her eyes and said, “I never laughed like this with Bobby, Tiny and Grom.”
“And on that sour note, time for another bottle.”
“We will have to discuss my time with Bobby sooner or later.”
“Not until you see what he is. Then I will be more than happy to discuss Bobby.”
“Fair enough. Drink?”
I walked over to the bar.
“Tessio, two more of those wonderful brews, thank you.”
“Here you go. Now you be careful because this is pretty potent stuff, you know.”
I walked over to Rigmor and handed her a bottle.
Then I sat down.
“Are you sure you want this third? You don’t want to be too drunk.”
“This might be my last chance. So, I am gonna ignore you and enjoy myself.”
“Please, Rigmor, don’t think like that. If the unlikely scenario occurs that they imprison you on ridiculous charges, I will come and get you. But if they had any clue, they would not be waiting for us to come to them.”
“How many times have you saved me now?”
“Rigmor, the only time I had to save you was from Malacath’s altar. And you were only there because I dropped my guard and was outwitted by Aedriath. Since it was my fault that you were there, that doesn’t count.”
“I wish you would stop blaming yourself for that. Plus, you saved us all by defeating Alduin, Miraak, The False King, Ambition, the Thalmor guy playing with that big ball, that bitch Potema and probably others that I can’t remember because I’m drunk!”
“Yes, I wouldn’t burp near an open flame if I was you.”
“Come on, Dragonbum, skol!”
I downed my bottle of Special Brew in seconds. Rigmor’s face turned red, but she still managed to finish her bottle in one go. She slammed the bottle onto the table with a ‘Done it!’
I said, “Well done. Another essential skill for a Nord Countess learned!”
Rigmor started giggling.
“Okay, Rigmor, what is so amusing?”
“Remember when we had to wear those disguises, hahaha, and I said, ‘I wonder if Legionnaires wear underwear?’”
“How could I forget any of your epic giggle sessions. We were in enemy territory, and you giggled!”
“Well, what, Countess Pervert?”
“Nope, no underpants. That is why they stand so close to the fire.”
My slightly pickled beloved thought that was hilarious, while others thought she had one too many Special Brews.
My internal clock was no good, but I knew it was past the time all good Countess’ should be in bed.
“Come on, Rigmor, your need to sleep this off.”
Rigmor stood and almost fell over, then said, “Oops, I think I am a bit tipsy…hahaha.”
Tessio warned, “Watch out when you go outside. Ye Olde Special Brew kicks in with a breath of fresh air!”
I replied, “Keep the change, Tessio!”
Rigmor staggered outside, and I followed.
I walked behind Rigmor, ready to catch her if she looked like she was falling.
At first, she would stagger a couple of steps left, then a couple of steps right, but there was not much forward progress.
“Ahh, try moving forward a little with each step.”
Rigmor managed to develop a rhythm to her staggering and started to make forward progress.
As we approached two Imperial Legionnaires, Rigmor yelled, “Hello! Make was for the Countess of Brumaaaaa…hahaha!”
One of the men replied, “Oi! Keep the bloody noise down.”
Rigmor staggered a few steps to the right and had to push herself away from a column.
She scolded the ancient structure, “Why don’t you look where you’re going? Hahaha!”
I said to her, “Rigmor, the inanimate object that has stood in the same place for thousands of years, wants to apologise humbly.”
As we neared the Tiber Septim, Rigmor asked, “Dragonbum, are you swaying all over the road, or is it just me? Hahaha!”
It was a mistake letting Rigmor get so drunk. We have to be our best amongst the vipers in the cesspool.
Rigmor burped then said, “Hahaha! Hey, there’s the hotel…I think…”
I cast Healing on Rigmor. Just strong enough to remove the effects of the booze.
Rigmor stopped swaggering and stood bewildered.
She asked, “What the hell was that stuff? Thankfully, it seems to be wearing off.”
“That was the quickest drunk to sober I have ever seen!”
“Wait, did you do something?”
“Me? What could a Master Mage possibly do to turn a pickled Countess into a sober one?”
“How did you cast a spell if you were as drunk as me?”
“I can’t get drunk because my pesky dragon blood gets in the way.”
“So, all that was to watch me get drunk?”
“You were relaxing, and I knew you needed it, so don’t get mad at me.”
“That is so sweet, letting me get drunk like that!”
“But don’t you think for a second, my dear Dragonbum, that this Piss Pot war is over!”
We entered the Tiber Septim, and although sober, Rigmor was still in a playful mood. She looked at Anais and said, “Shh…pffft! Hahahaha!”
I whispered to Anais, “A few too many meads. I had to carry her home after she fell and hurt her ankle when dancing on a table.”
Anais laughed as I caught up with Rigmor.
We entered our room where Rigmor declared, ‘We made it! Haha!’
Rigmor stood and waited for me. She held her hand out, and when I took it, she pulled me close and kissed me.
Desire flared, but it was not the time. I told Rigmor, “That was fun. But we need to sleep if we are going to be our best tomorrow.”
“Wulf, make love to me.”
“Rigmor, you need to think about this. I am willing to give you as much time as you need to sort out your feelings for Ser Robere.”
“I might not ever get another chance.”
“That is not a logical or fair reason, so no, we cannot.”
Tears rolled down Rigmor’s cheeks as she pleaded, “No, sorry, I didn’t mean it to sound like that. Let me explain….”
I looked into Rigmor’s eyes and nodded.
“You think I am worrying too much about what is going to happen. Maybe I am, but I don’t want to go to prison or something worse without clarifying this. I love you and want to be with you for the rest of my life! Bobby offered something I needed, and perhaps I have been blinkered to what he is. But it doesn’t matter. He is not what I need now or in the future. I almost lost myself when you were lost, but now I have the chance to find myself once more.”
I laughed, and Rigmor looked offended. I quickly said, “Here I am, arguing about making love to you when it is something every tiny part of me yearns for.”
I held Rigmor close. She laughed, looked down, then said, “Mm…it seems some not so tiny parts are yearning as well!”
“I love you Rigmor Ragnarsdottier!”
“I know, but less talking. For some of us, it has been three years!”
Once more, it was just Rigmor and me sharing our bodies, love, souls, and destiny. No worries, no fear, no gods or demons, just us.
I know what time I fell asleep…
Never! Rigmor didn’t let me!