Chapter 16 - "I promsied didn't I?"

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A few days past since the gathering and my health has seemed to decrease with incoherent days that lead to dark and often lucid dreaming or empty and restless nights.

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I rested against the large wooden vessel, my head felt light as I griped onto the side of the halved wooden basin. Sven had filled the basin with steaming water. With both hands securing me, I tried keeping the world still but as hard as I tired the room still began to spin.

A tingling pain grew in my wrist, I thought it was just the steam rising up my arms but it grew. When the pain became stingy and pulsing. I, blurry sighted pulled my hands up in front of my face. There was a light tickling growing up my arm, it slid up my arm. Resonating in my shoulder was a strange warmth and humming. I wound my arm around my shoulder to feel my back, a sensitive area to the touch.

I exhaled in a shocked panicked manner my eyes growing wide with fright. What is that?! My thoughts vanished and my mind cleared. My vision zoning in on this hideous disfiguration.

A splotchy black hand sized blemish on my skin. It was textured and veins popped up from under my skin. I let a shrill shriek and I slumped to my knees and clutched my wrist. My head was spinning and I could feel a slick sweat break out over my skin. Sven burst through the door and looked at me for a moment in bewilderment.

"Saoirse" he spoke harshly, a slight hysterical erratic string of breaths like he had just ran here. His arms cradled me, I whimpered as he probed lightly at the affected skin.

"What is this?" I ask panicked and frustrated. I exhaled but my tone hit a pitch of pain and I forced out the sound though gritted teeth. I was bundled in his arms, he had sat on the floor with his back against the wash tub.

"Why does it hurt so much?!" The pain grew as he flexed my arm forward and back. I winced and wined at any unwanted movement. Both his large hands flattened mine as he looked at my infected hand.

"I don't know" he spoke lowly trying to defuse panic. I wish he had lied I wish he could have said anything else! He doesn't know what's wrong with me. My blood ran cold and I breathed out loudly. 'Please' I begged in my mind.

I could feel his chest rise and fall as his breathing, it pressed against my back and soothed me. I glanced back at my hand from the wall, my veins were dyed a mucky merky purely brown. They sprawled out from the palm of my hand. A bruise coming up on my once pasty pail Irish skin.

"I have to bring you to the seer, he'll know what to do" he says lowly, his voice as monotoned as if he didn't know what to say. Fear flashed up in my eyes, I knew he could see that because his reaction was to lean away from me a little.

"No! Please no!" I panic pushing myself away from him and I try to brake away.
He closes his arms around me so I can't move.

"You need to see him!" He says, with no room for debate. His eyes said something, but I couldn't read it, worry? Concern? Or was it 'get her away from me, that infected slave'.

There was a chilling feeling going down my back when I thought of the seer, cloaked black and with black dripping lips and an eery voice. I know the remedy to my ailment will be to see the seer but something told me this would be more than a mere visit. Something that may change the corse of the future.

"Get up! Your going to him now!" He ordered. He briskly rose the both of us from the ground.

"No please! Please!" I pleaded, I begged and grovelled trying to make him see the light.

"I said your going!" He shouted. He was supporting me in his arms, careful to keep my hand Palm up to see the site of Infection.

"I can't watch you in pain" the voice I heard was soft, different from the one of harsh impatience and rigidity. He sounded almost pained himself, as if wounded my his own arrow, as if he had just experienced greatest loss known to man. He dropped my hand, and slowly cupped my head with his. His grip was soft and forgiving, un clenched and gentle. An unexpected presence of gentleness and affection.

"I'm scared" I whispered.

"Don't be, I'll be right there with you"
I looked up from underneath my lashes, he gazing eyes watching and waiting for my accepting reply.

"Do you promise?"

He nods and placed his lips against my forehead and stays there for a few seconds, having realised what he had done his face returned to the composed stoney expression I had come to know.

He then drops his arms from around me and strides away from me into one of the side rooms of the longhouse and when I hear him stop walking its for shortly after that there is the sound of ripping material. The ripping stops and there is silence, I wonder in that very moment a strange thing, 'What does he think of me? And why dose he care?'.
He came back and knelt beside me extending his hands out to me.

"Give me your hand" he says, he holds the strip of material taught. I hold my hand out, and watch as he carefully wraps the material around the infection. I glance up to his face to see that his eyes are resting on my face.

"Thank you" I say, he looks away as he ties the material off. He is a tall built man, and even with his strong facial features I see now, the possibility of kindness. When he slips up in his act I see that. I wonder why he has such a facade, why does he lie to people?

Seven's hair fell over his face. With the back of my good hand I brush it gently to the side, to let me see his eyes, the colour of the sky. His hand caught mine in the air and kept it there.

"We'd better go to the seer" he hands be a cloak and ties it at the nape of my neck, the cloak is heavy and long, a nighttime coat. He leave me to stand my the basin. He swings a fur pelt sewn into a shoulder cloak and ties a thick brown leather belt around his waist.

He picks up his sword by the handle and pats the blade against his hand before sliding it into its holder at his waist.

"Come" he says holding his hand out to me. I just look at it not responding, then looking at his face I shake my head a little.

"Don't be scared, I won't let him hurt you" he paused and swallowed.
"I promised didn't I?" He takes a step forward and stops, waiting for my hand to reach out to his.

I nod and slip my hand into his. The rough texture of his beaten skin against mine supple and refined leaves a strange feeling behind.

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To be continued ~

Sorry! I know it's been ages but it's finished now so enjoy!

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