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She knew she was dreaming. But, she couldn't seem to wake herself up. She was in a bed covered with animal pelts. As always, it was like she was there, yet was a participant in the dream. She watched him reach for her. Her face alight with love and a sensual smile. She watched his large fingers run through her hair and grasp the back of her head. As was his habit, he picked her up and wrapped her legs around his waist. 

Groaning, he walked toward the massive bed they shared. Tossing her gently on it, her followed her down. Laughing she embraced him. "Oh my love. The fire still burns hot after all these years. I can never get enough of you." His voice was gruff with passion, as she helped him get rid of both of their clothes.

Laying in his arms, secure in his love, she agrees. "Husband, it has been many winters that we have been wed. My only regret is that I could not give you children." As she spoke, her voice quivered and a stray tear ran down from the corner of her eye toward her hairline.

"None of that woman. Freya did not see fit to give us children. She knows best. We have had some trying times these last twenty winters, or so. War is not the best environment to raise children in. As it was, I was in constant fear that you would be taken from me. Surely my fear would have paralyzed me had we had children. I love you and my life has been full. Getting my bride to accept me was hard enough. Yes, I would have liked to have children. But, it was not meant to be. Rest now, woman. We have a long day ahead tomorrow. I will pass my title to my nephew. He's a worthy young man. He'll make a good Jarl." He softly touched his forehead to hers, kissed her and made glorious love to her. Afterward, when they were both covered in a sheen of sweat, breathing heavily, she spoke again.

"I love you, my husband." As she was drifting off to sleep, she heard his gentle reply in kind. 

Suddenly her husband was shaking her awake roughly. "Ylva, get up! Ylva, get up! We are under attack! I want you to take the woman to safety while the men and I fight the intruders off." Leaning down, he grabbed her and pressed a hurried and hot kiss to her lips. "Meet me in the usual place at dusk. If I'm not there, you know what to do. You must make sure the women are safe. Gunnar's bride will be among them. She must survive. We must have an heir!" Kissing her quickly and roughly one more time, he stepped away from her and picked up his sword where it was propped up by their bed. 

Just as he grabbed it the door to their room burst in and his enemy stepped in and ran Ylva through. Grinning an evil smirk, the man withdrew and continued on. He quickly knelt and cradled her in his arms. She tried to speak, but blood kept bubbling up on her lips. Haldor clutched his wife to his chest and cried, knowing she dying. 

"I want more time with you. It's not been enough time. You can't leave me." Sobs wracked his body. He was helpless to do anything. All he could do was watch as she struggled for breath.

"Haldor.....let me go." Her words were a tortured whisper. But, yet she still tried to comfort him. "Hel is beckoning me. She waits for me." Haldor watched helplessly as the life slipped from his little she wolf. As she breathed her last, he released a roar of rage that shook the very walls of the Keep.

Erika jerked into an upright position. She was covered in sweat and shaking. Her stomach hurt and she could still feel the point of the sword where it pierced her abdomen. She knew that she would not go back to sleep, so she threw her covers off and got up out of her bed. Might as well shower and make her coffee. It was going to be needed today.

As she showered she thought back to when the dreams had started. On her thirtieth birthday. That evening her friends had handed her a ticket for Norway along with travel plans for a two week tour of the country. While she was there, she had stayed in Borgund and visited the Borgund Stavkirke.  Walking through the cemetery her attention had been captured by a headstone that was quite large. On it were engraved two wolves. It was obvious to anyone who cared to just more than glance, that the two wolves were lovers. The smaller of the two, just as obvious, a female. The engraving, faded from the weathering of the elements, read Ylva Beloved wife of Haldor, Chieftan. Try as she might she never found the husband's headstone.

The story had stayed with her and had followed her in her dreams. It disturbed her no end that she couldn't shake the feeling of destiny. It was not something she enjoyed. The weight of expectation was heavy, at best. Through her dreams she had felt the love that the two had for each other. Just as she had felt Haldor's grief when his beloved Ylva was murdered.

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Alright guys. New book up. This is not going to be a werewolf book. It's going to be something wholly different. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know. You don;t have to comment, but a vote would be great.


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