Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fate's Call #12

Love how this turned out. Hope y'all do, too.


            Erron was encased in warmth, and it made her sleepy. She swayed, then caught herself. She was on the back of a horse and would topple off if she didn’t sit up. But then his arms tightened around her. Safe. Warm.
            “I’ve got you. Sleep if you want to. We should be back into town in about an hour.” Jarek’s warm breath tickled her ear and a shiver slid down her spine.
            She tried not to stiffen. He was holding her, touching her. It was right and so foreign at the same time. Her heart skipped a beat.
            “I understand if you don’t want to trust me, but I swear I won’t let anything happen to you, Erron.” His voice was low and even. A vow. But why? He knew the truth now.
            “I trust you.” The words tumbled out of her mouth, but they were as true as his promise to her.
            Jarek kissed her cheek and squeezed her in his arms. “Then sleep. I’ve got you.”
Erron trembled, but burrowed into his chest and he held her closer, her head nestled against him. Her eyes slipped closed and heart skipped a beat. This was unreal, but she would hold onto it for as long as she could. Jarek’s steady heartbeat against her ear serenaded her to sleep.
“Erron.” Her name in her ear woke her with a start, but Jarek steadied her.
She jolted in her skin.
Everything rushed back. Jarek’s proposal, the horrible dinner, her father on his back, unconscious.
It was real.
She was free.
Erron straightened and swallowed hard.
“Relax, I’ve got you. We’re almost home.” His even voice grounded her, but home? Where was home for her?
“Jarek, I…” What was she supposed to say? He’d saved her from her father, stolen her away…
“Shhh, it’s all right,”
“But—”
“We’ll figure it out, Erron. I promise. I don’t want you to worry about anything. You’re safe. And you always will be.”
And you always will be bounced around in her head. What did that mean? Her heart galloped. He doesn’t want you for his wife, don’t be a little fool. Heat crept up her neck, but she shivered.
“Cold?” He squeezed her against him.
“No.” She shook her head for effect.
He paused and she felt his chest heave with a breath. “Are you afraid of me?”
“No.” Erron’s answer was vehement.
Jarek chuckled and she found herself smiling. “Good. I don’t ever want that,” he said, his tone serious.
“I could never be afraid of you,” she whispered.
He kissed the top of her head, her ear and then her cheek. Erron turned her face so she could see some of him, any of him. Jarek’s lips came down on hers hard and fast.
She gasped.
            Why was he kissing her? Surely…
            “I’m sorry, did I hurt you?”
            “N-n-no…surprised me.” Her breath exited on a whoosh and she faced the front again.
            The gates of Dalunas Main were coming into view. Her heart sped up, reality hitting her hard. Had Jarek not been holding her close, she would have swayed.
            “He’ll come after me.”
            “I don’t care,” Jarek said, his tone hard. “I’ll petition Lord Rustin, if I have to. You’re not going back.” Erron’s stomach roiled.  Why would the Duke of Dalunas care about her? “Besides, if we marry quickly, there’s not a damn thing he can do to take you away from me.”
            Her heart dropped to her stomach. “Marry…quickly?”
            Jarek didn’t speak for a long moment. “Erron, I want you to be my wife. Have I not made that clear?”
            A lump rose in her throat and her vision blurred despite her efforts to stave off tears. How could he want me?
            “Of course I want you. Nothing could change that.”
            She’d spoken aloud? A blush rushed her cheeks.
It was clear what his emphasis on nothing meant.
A sob threatened, and Erron’s hand flew to her mouth to hold it back. Her breathing was rough, her chest heaving.
            Waving, Jarek greeted the guards at the city gates as they passed through. Her tanner said nothing to her. Tears cascaded down her cheeks and she wiped them away only to have them replaced by more. He held her tight and let her cry. She needed it.
            His arms around her, his chest against her shoulders, his warmth surrounding her was more comfort than his words could be.
            Soon they arrived at the public stables her father always used when they were in town. The owner’s son met them at the entrance and Jarek jumped down.
            Erron’s back was cold without him behind her, but his large hands settled on either side of her waist and he pulled her from the saddle of the chestnut gelding. Her legs shook as her feet hit the dirt but Jarek, once again, steadied her.
She sniffled and swiped at her face.
            He grabbed her bag from the horse and slung it over his shoulder before giving the reins to the stable boy. “I have to settle my bill, then we can head home,” Jarek told her.        
She stood where he’d put her, wringing her hands in her skirt.
            When he returned to her side, Jarek cupped her face and thumbed away tears. He leaned down and took her mouth in a tender kiss that flipped her stomach.
            “No more tears. You’re safe with me, and I’m going to make you mine.”
            Erron didn’t know what to say. It was unreal. How could he want her? She bit her bottom lip.
            “This wasn’t exactly how I’d planned things, but I don’t regret getting you out of there,” Jarek admitted, eyes searching her face, brow furrowed.
            She swallowed hard. “I don’t regret it either,” she whispered.
            He flashed a smile that made her heart miss a beat. “Let’s go. I know my father and Anais are anxious to meet you.”
            Jarek slipped his arm around her shoulders and they quickly fell into step, heading into the busy market center.
            Hope and dread warred in her mind, and she leaned into her tanner as they walked. Her father would come.
            Erron took a deep breath. Right now, Jarek was at her side and that was all that mattered. At the moment.

TO BE CONTINUED...

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9 comments:

  1. Hmmmm, finally!!!!

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  2. Ah, Chrissy, such a beautiful scene where she discovers he truly loves her no matter what....I love these two and I love this story...

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  3. Thanx guys! Love you all and your comments!

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  4. Awwww.....**another silent squee.... :) love :) I love how he lets her sleep in his arms.. :D I'm all kinds of smiles after reading this, LOL

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  5. Every single time I read about Jarek I *swoon* I want him to be my knight in shining armor riding up on his white horse. Such love!!! I couldn't get the link to work on my vacation, but its the first thing I did this morning on my first day back!!!! :-)

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  6. Very nice...loving him more and more! *sigh*

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