Blood is thicker than water

'I leant into his side, smiling to myself when i felt his arm tighten around me'

14 year old Alicia lives in a small village in the 14th century. Trying to discover herself, and the true meaning of love, family and friendship. Along with her best friend Mary and the gorgeous Elias, she faces the horrors of the black death. Will she survive? Will she have anyone left?

'Please... please don't leave me, I don't want to be alone...'

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4. Chapter 4

"You're growing up so fast," my mother whispered as she braided the left side of my hair away from face. I winced as she pulled tightly to finish it off, tying it with my new ribbon so the ends dangled. "Mmm..." I mumbled. "Who did you say was coming?" I asked trying to distract myself from the butterflies in my stomach. "Well your father, William and I of course and Mary, Elizabeth, Alice, Emily and their families, also Richard, Thomas, Henry and Big William, oh and Elias."
 My heart skipped at the mention of Elias' name. I couldn't wait to see him again but I was incredibly nervous. That’s why mother was braiding my hair and I was wearing my special dress, I needed to impress him. I'm pretty sure that mother knew I was dressing like this for someone but she wasn't making it obvious to my father. This was my chance to make an impression on him, I couldn't mess this up.


"Are you ready sweetheart?" My mother asked. Father had already taken William up the hill an hour ago, to start the bonfire. "I... I think so..." I took a deep breath. "Let's go."


The sun was just beginning to set when we left the house, and it was comfortably warm. I held mothers hand just like I had when I was young, and we walked to the hill in silence. As we neared the site I could smell the bonfire smoke, and hear people laughing. A cloud of butterflies hit my stomach again, and I faltered. "It's alright to be nervous," My mother said soothingly, gently tugging me forward.

******


When we reached the top I was engulfed by a surge of people, hugging me and calling out happy birthdays and congratulations. But then him, the only person that mattered, Elias.
He was standing by the bonfire, the flames casting a flickering light on his face. When he saw me, his face instantly broke into a smile. He sauntered towards me, giving me time to take in his appearance. He went barefoot and wore ragged cut off trouser with no shirt, the flickering flames threw his muscled chest into sharp relief and I gazed openly at it.
He laughed at my obvious fascination and enveloped me in a hug, his arms encircling my waist. "You look amazing," he breathed. I half laughed half giggled at his tone. "You're blushing again," he told me. I didn't bother denying it; I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks. He relaxed his grip on my waist and once again threw his arm around my shoulders.


I spent most of the next couple of hours milling around talking to people, with Elias' arm never straying from around my shoulders. It was just after the sunset that the music began playing. Elias left me then to play the lute but I didn't mind too much. I walked over to Mary as I could see that she was dying to talk to me. "Oh my gosh!" she squealed, linking my arm with hers. "He couldn't take his eyes off of you! Or his hands! I'm telling you, he has or will choose you!" I rolled my eyes at her but my heart was thudding in my chest. Maybe... Just maybe...
 "Oh look," Mary suddenly exclaimed. I looked where she was pointing; it was Elias and my father talking. "They look pretty serious, I bet Elias is asking your father’s permission to court you," Mary screeched, bouncing up and down. "Calm down," I told her, pinning her down. "It's probably nothing," although I really hoped she was right.


Elias came over then, bowing very graciously before holding out his hand for mine. I accepted with a giggle and he whirled me away. We danced around the bonfire, sometimes dangerously close to the flames, laughing and shouting. We were quickly joined by about 6 other couples, all the men went shirtless but I only had eyes for one...


I lost my shoes halfway through 'the merchants dance' but I was having too much fun to mind. Just I was about to collapse, the melody changed to a softer slower tune. Elias pulled me towards him, once more winding his arms 'round my waist. I slipped my hands around his neck and nestled my head on his shoulder. "Are you okay with this?" he asked me hesitantly. "I don't want to be over bearing-"
"I'm fine," I assured him, pleased when his smile brightened and he pulled me in closer...

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