Piece in Our Time

Chapter Eight

Putting the entire event with Asmund aside Eva had still not dusted off the constant suspicious looks cast her way by some of the clan members. Eva Bunchenan had come to find that Asmund was the leader of the clan, Clan Thorirson. His father had passed the title onto him when he had passed away some years ago, when Asmund was only twenty two years of age. Now the age of thirty Asmund had gained plenty of time to earn the respect, trust and loyalty of his clan. Being so young at the event of his entitlement Asmund had to work hard to prove to his clan that he could rule over them greatly and keep them safe. So far Eva could tell he had done an amazing job at doing so. He had the loyalty and trust of the whole group, when he made a decision not a single person questioned him, they followed and Eva had the feeling they would fallow him into the fog of death if he so asked them too.

One man in particular still gave Eva the shudders, Renir Holat. He had been a constant shadow over her since the day she was found by the group of hunters. His gaze upon her back was not warmth she much desired as the one that Asmund provided was, but it was a gaze she much feared. Renir looked like a man who could kill on a whim, with no emotion and no regret, and that was what sent shudders down her spine and tugged at her gut in a sickly way.

On this particular day the camp was running as normal, a fire burned in the center of the circle of tents, women cooked and cleaned, a few of the men scouted and hunted while others cleaned swords and weapons and sharpened their knives. Eva had found herself at the riverside, her hands almost blue from sinking and scrubbing into the icy water, clumps of snow and ice floated past with the current as she dunked a bundle of furs into the clear blue water, she could see all the way to the bottom of the river, for washing. She was humming pleasantly to herself, a song her mother used to sing to her as a child when she heard a twig snap violently behind her.

“You are an odd one Mrs. Bunchenan.” He spoke slowly, His English was much more refined than Asmunds and she understood him almost as clear as day. “You come out of nowhere, sleeping in the snow and curious bruises to your back and strange clothing upon your frail body. “

Eva did not turn around; she had stopped humming when he began speaking. Her hands stilled in the water, they had gone numb some moments before, and she could no longer feel the rush of the water as it passed over her wrist. She sat on her knees, the skirt of her dress pooled around her. She wore a cloak over her body, the hood of it covering her head, shielding her from the wind and hiding her face from Renir just enough for him to not notice the width that her eyes had grown at his words. Eva knew that everyone had been wondering, but no one would ask where she had come from. She had not yet come up with an answer and had been dreading the day when someone mustered up the courage to ask her.

“Tell me Lass, where you come from, do people often pass out in the Snow as if they had been drinking hard ale all night long! “ His voice was intense and his words, soft at first were now hard and cold. Eva swallowed the lump in her throat. Pulling her hands from the water, her skin had turned a dark purple and her limbs were shaking uncontrollably. Eva heard him stalk closer until she could feel him behind her, and in milliseconds she was pulled up by her arm to her feet, and she let out a gasp at his grip. It was painful and she could feel the bones of her arm tremor under his weight.

Eva met Renirs eyes, they were not cold. They were distrustful and filled with doubt. She could feel his eyes studying her, waiting for a response that she would not give. She felt like a science experiment she once conducted as a school girl. She felt as if she were under a telescope with hundreds of eyes peeking at her anatomy. Eva knew that anything that came out of her mouth, he would not believe. He did not trust her. His grip did not loosen and she was beginning to grow fearful, they were out by themselves, she could scream but before anyone would arrive he could snap her neck. These men were unnaturally strong and skilled. They were bred to kill and fight. She was merely the size of a mouse compared to them. The strength of his grip brought her back down to her knees. “You can not avoid the curiosity of the rest of us for long Eva Bunchenan. I hope you have a believable story. “

With his words Renir released his grip from around her arm and Eva collapsed to the snowy ground beneath them. Holding her arm in her hand she looked up at him as he walked away. He did not look back at her and in only a few strokes he was gone, beyond the tree line. Eva groaned loudly, tears pooling at the rims of her emerald eyes. Her cheeks were tinted pink from the cold as well as from a pinch of embarrassment. Eva’s thin body shook with fear and frustration. He was right, if she did not have a convincing story who knows what this clan would do to her. She still had no idea how to get home.

Eva had long since pushed her escape attempts to the back of her mind. She had grown to content and happy with her current position, that even when she was alone in the trees or at the river bank the thought of running had not even grazed her mind. Eva sat in the pool of her dress and cloak for hours, the sun had moved high into the sky signaling mid afternoon, before anyone came looking for her. It was Hara, and when she appeared from beyond the trees she was gasping for breath and gripping her chest. “Eva!” Hara came barreling towards her, standing above the shivering body that had crumpled into a heap, chubby fingers gripping at a thick waist line as she peered downwards. “What on Earth have you been doing out here?” Hara’s voice was exasperated. Eva did not speak she only stood up slowly, and underneath her hood placed a very fake smile to her lips and finally met Hara’s gaze.

“I apologize Hara, I must have lost track of time. The furs have been washed.” Her voice was monotone and she spoke slowly. Eva pointed to a pile of still very damp furs. Hara only shook her head and looked once over Eva before stomping past her and gathering the furs in her arms. “Let’s go Lass it’ll be supper time soon.” Words spoken with a hint of annoyance and worry all in one. Eva nodded in response to Hara’s orders and followed behind the elder women. As they got closer to the campsite the smells of a well prepared supper drifted through the air and Eva’s stomach began to rumble and growl in response.
Far off in the distance a buck sauntered arrogantly through the snow, the tall antlers bobbed back and forth between the trees, just out of site. Asmund knelt as still as possible. This was a practice he had been perfecting since his childhood years. Hunting was a skill taught to all Viking boys by their fathers and Asmund was no different. He had been taken on hunting expeditions since he was six years of age. His father had bestowed upon him his first bow and arrow when he was ten years of age, and Asmund like much of the other Viking boys swelled up with pride. The bow had been made of elm and was approximately 1.6 meters long. Asmund was by no means a small child and had no problem growing into his new weapon. In the years to come after his child hood Asmund would use that particular bow to battle against enemies, hunt for his people and defend his land.

This day it was to hunt and provide food for what was left of his clan. As the wind blew the naked tree branches around them, Asmunds breath slowed, and he forced his body to still. Holding his position correctly pulling back on his bow slowly, the creak from the string tightening causing Asmunds breath to hitch for a moment, his eyes trapped on the form of the buck currently standing between two trees. This was the moment and if he did not take it soon, Tomorrow’s meals would never be. With the flick of a wrist the arrow was released and with the whistling of cool air it punctured the buck at the neck, the thud of a body the only signal that Asmund had hit his target.

With the weight of the buck on his shoulders Asmund returned to camp with the rest of his group just in time to catch Renir protruding from the trees. He raised an eyebrow in the man’s direction before nodding in recognition. He received a nod in return. Asmund dropped the Buck at a heavy man’s feet. He was not muscular, but heavy with fat. This man was not starving by any means, and being the animal cleaner probably had something to do with it. He had first dibs.

With no sign of Eva, Asmund assumed she was still at the river and she would return soon. But when hours passed, and the sun began to rise higher and higher Asmund grew worried that she may have taken her chance to leave. He had started to trust that she understood that in this wilderness she could not possibly get very far. Despite not being able to out run his hunters and the scouters, the wildlife may get her before they could. But when Hara appeared from between the trees with Eva behind her Asmund let free the breath he had not known he was holding in. He only merely noticed that they had come from the same direction that Renir had just came from.

This woman, whom he had found in the snow, in the middle of nowhere, passed out, and harmed, was beautiful. She was more beautiful than any women he had ever had the pleasure of being with. Her hair was soft, no matter how long she went without caring for it. Her skin was flawless , and she always seemed to smell wonderful. The scent of roses traveled with her like it was stained onto her skin, and the sunshine smell only grew stronger as the day went on. It was as if she carried the scents of the time of day with her. In the early morning Eva carried the air around her, the aroma of dew and dew and newly awoken flowers that managed to stay alive even in this frozen waist land, and it only got better as the day progressed until finally the fragrance of Midnight settled in her pores.

Asmund had taken to watching her almost constantly. He could almost time it down to the very second when Eva would emerge from her tent at night to sit by the fire. Her whole body illuminated in the flames. She glowed. He had loved the feel of her body against his, that day in the woods, her fragile body under his robust one. He could have taken her right there, but chose not to. When he did it would be because she wanted it. She could not even look him in the eyes that day. Her skin had been as soft as the snow under them against his calloused hands.

She was his, he found her. She needed to know that. He would not let another man help her onto her horse again. She would not ride in the company of another once more. He would keep a close eye on her and stay near. Today was an exception. He needed to hunt and he knew the camp would alert him if she had gotten away. But he would be lying if he said that she had not been on his mind the entire time. Waiting for his prey, he sat in silence and thought about would it would feel like to hold her naked body against his own and keep her warm in the winter, or what she would look like naked in the sun on a lush pile of grass, her skin gleaming and hair tussled around her. His large hands on her small body. He shook just thinking of it.
When Eva returned she sat at the fire and was handed a plate of food. She ate in silence this night. Renir was no longer glaring in her direction and it was a slight reprieve from the constant glower. When all of supper was finished and others were standing for bed, she joined them, and this night did not step out of her tent to sit at the fire. She needed a night where she was not being watched. A private moment for herself only, and she slept soundly. This night she did not even dream of her brother and her mind was cleared of any thoughts of Asmund or where she was.
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Here is chapter eight guys!
Also, I am thinking about maybe writing a similar story. So if you think it may be a good idea please let me know.

I hope you all enjoy the new layout!
It was made by dylan o'brien;