Born Immortal Chapter 26

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Astyr awoke to find herself being carried in Hakon's arms. He was holding her tightly to his chest and cradling her gently as he waited for someone to open the French doors that led to her bedroom. Astyr was feeling dizzy and couldn't remember falling but with her face pressed up against Hakon's soft shirt she felt safe and secure. He noticed that she had her eyes open as he looked down at her.

"Hey," he said softly, "You're back. How are you feeling?"

She couldn't think of any words at the moment and there seemed to be some kind of faint buzzing sound inside of her head that made it too difficult to come up with an answer so she just nuzzled her face closer to him, inhaling the pleasant, warm smell coming from his clothes.

Grima pulled back her bedspread and moved aside so that Hakon could lay her down. He had to almost crawl onto the big bed himself to get her situated away from the edge and he was halfway lying down against her for just a moment. He looked at her with an expression of tender concern on his face and he couldn't resist the urge to brush back a long strand of hair that had fallen across her face.

There was an impatient cough from behind him as his fingers lightly caressed her face and he jerked his hand away and started to make a motion to get up when he was stopped by Laure.

"No, Hakon, don't get up." Laure said quickly. "The extra body heat will do her good and keep her from going into shock."

Grima agreed and Hakon had no choice but to swing his legs up and press his body up against Astyr as Grima settled the heavy duvet over the two of them. Grima then went around to the other side of the bed and pulled Astyr's arm out so that she could check her vital signs as Laure sent Gunnar to get some blood for Astyr to drink to help speed her recovery.

Glin meanwhile was standing close by the edge of the bed with his arms crossed over his chest and a murderous look on his face; even Tyr seemed to be frowning and neither of them seemed to be in any hurry to leave the room.  Hakon was intensely aware of their close scrutiny and he was trying his best to keep his mind and body away from Astyr's sweet-smelling softness.

Oh God, Hakon thought to himself, don't even think about it. Of course the more he told himself to not think about how good she felt in his arms, the harder it was to drag his thoughts away from how perfectly she fit curled up against him. He couldn't readjust his position without making it seem to the witnesses that he was doing something inappropriate so he started to try and think of how many physics equations he could think of off the top of his head. Hakon really hated physics; he had hated it four hundred years ago when his parents had invited Galileo to come and lecture him to death about the universal characteristics of motion and he hated it now when he had to sit in class with a bunch of children memorizing the same tired formulae that had been drilled into is head centuries ago.

Fortunately, Gunnar returned with a glass full of blood at that point, saving Hakon from his painful dilemma. His arm was still behind Astyr and so it was easy for him to lift her into a sitting position so that she could drink. The debate that had been going on before Astyr fainted resumed once again and her loss of consciousness was added to the list of speculations and assumptions that didn't seem to be leading towards a clear verdict on what had happened on the balcony.

"I think she would have been fine if she had known how to discharge the energy." Laure was saying to the others. "Any build-up of power like that can be dangerous if there is nowhere for it to go."

Grima agreed with this and added, "Until her body starts the regeneration process we will have to be careful that we don't let her try to absorb energy on her own."

"Yes," Tyr interjected, "But we should also teach her ways to use it so that if she needs to she will know how."

"I'll handle that." Glin said forcefully, giving a sour look to Hakon as he said it. "And Hakon, Astyr looks much better now. I'm sure the risk of shock has passed by now so get up."

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