Keira came back a couple of time later. The man was on his knees moaning and struggling to stand on his feet. Weirdly she ran to him for help and kneeled by his side.
“What is wrong?” She asked feeling some sort of compassion she knew she shouldn’t feel.
“ARGH….” The man groaned instead of answering and slapped her hand away when she tried to grab his arm to help him.
Keira’s eyes opened wide and her nostrils too. A heat invaded her body as if she was going to explode and her teeth grated momentarily.
“How dare you?” She muttered standing.
Colin looked up at her frustrated. He was weaker than he ever thought he was. That moment she noticed the blood on his forehead and immediately she kneeled in front of him again.
“What happened?” She asked gazing at the cut right above his right eye.
“I fell!” He almost yelled. “I tried to stand and I fell…that’s what happened!” He said trying to stand again. He managed to do it but he was fighting to stand still. His feet and legs were betraying him and his head was spinning around.
“You are too weak.” She said standing too. “You lost too much blood.”
“I am not some pussy to stay lied down! I am a warrior…the best of my village!” He said not used to that weak condition even more where a woman would dictate what he could and could not do. Keira smiled amused which caused him to be furious.
“Why are you smiling?” He asked showing madness.
“Because you are funny.” She said honestly. That moment she giggled and Colin tried to walk but stumbled on his own feet. Keira had the time to grab him though to avoid his second fall on the floor. “Look…” She said. “…you might be all that you said you were but right now you are wounded badly and you lost blood so if you want to live you must lie down and follow my lead.”
“Like ever!” He said curling an eyebrow at her.
“Or you can go and die.” She said looking in his eye. “Because that is what is going to happen. You will die before you reach your people.”
He stayed there looking at her and hammering on her words. Dying was not part of his plans but staying there with a woman, a girl per say, ordering him around didn’t seem proper to his man’s eyes either.
“Let me check that cut.” Keira asked seeing he wasn’t going to say anything. Colin accepted her help. She seemed sure of what she was saying.
Keira made him sit on a chair and reached for her pot of boiled water. Slowly she began to clean the cut that wasn’t deep, it would heal in a couple of days.
“It’s not bad.” She said bending a little more over him.
Her scent invaded his nose and the fact that her breasts were almost rubbing his nose was fermenting on his head. She smelled good, had perfect skin and her hands were soft.
“If you had given me food I wouldn’t have tried to stand.” He told her.
“I eat with my people in the saloon. I don’t have food here as you might have noticed. You should have waited.”
“Who are you?” He asked looking up. That moment his eyes hit hers and for a few seconds they stared. His blue eyes caused her stress, she was sure of it.
“The girl that is treating you.” She said then.
“Na…na…” He said frowning. “Your chamber is filled with good stuff. You don’t have hands of a laborer, you don’t look like one.”
“I’m a nurse.” She lied fearing his reaction and intentions if he finds out she was the daughter of the king.
“Women work on the fields…men fight for land…” He argued looking at her. Keira looked away. She didn’t like to look in that man’s eyes and didn’t like the course of that conversation.
“In your world maybe. Here women have other duties than the fields and mine is to be a nurse.”
Colin eyed her not believing her and it showed on his semblance. Keira tried to ignore it and changed the course of the events. Her hands reached the sac she had with her and pulled out a piece of dry meat and bread.
“Here…have this food and then you should go back to bed.”
“Are you betrothed?” He asked taking the food.
“That’s none of your business.”
“Are you?” He insisted. His eyes raked her figure from feet to her face. The most beautiful woman he had seen.
“Why do you want to know?” She asked a little irritated.
Colin ended up laughing. “Just curiosity. Don’t think you are my type because you aren’t.”
“I…” She said and then shut up. “I would never think such thing!” She said indignant. “Oh!” She said shaking her head. “The nerve! I am taking care of you and you think this is a woman and man thing?”
“Calm down! I was just clarifying things. That’s all.”
“Be aware…” She stuck her finger in front of his nose. “…you are not my type either. I am to marry the best warrior in my village.”
“Hum…” Colin looked away like ignoring her. “I feel a little sorry for him for having to deal with that temper.”
“How dare you?” She said resting her hands on her waist.
“It was a joke!” He said laughing. “Don’t get all hissed up girl.”
“It was a bad joke.” She said turning away and leaving.
Colin’s gaze followed her until she disappeared once again tormented by his words but he liked her insolence and her disobedience towards men. Maybe in her people women were different like she said but there was more in her than just different culture and then he was face to face with reality…he had to go back to bed alone and with no help.
Keira crossed the street furious. Her body was heating due to the rage. She couldn’t remember anyone who had talked to her like that. Men wanted her and Cahil was envied for owning her, her beauty was envied by other women and despite all that she was the daughter of the king therefore a princess and no one would dare to talk badly to a princess. She was not used to such manners or even indifference and still the stranger’s eyes were still piercing on her like they had carven on her soul.
“Oh that man!” She yelled entering her sister’s chamber. For a moment, a very selfish moment, she didn’t remember her sister was mourning.
“What man?” Cathleen asked cleaning her eyes and that’s when Keira noticed her swollen gaze.
“Oh sister…” She moaned sitting by her side on the bed. “I am sorry…I just came to see how you were doing and keep you company.”
“What man Keira?” Cathleen asked not wanting to talk about her condition.
“The stranger!” She exclaimed with her green gaze almost inflamed.
“He woke up?”
“Yes! And he’s….” Words failed to come out. “He’s…obnoxious.” She said determined. “The most obnoxious man I have ever seen.”
Surprisingly Cathleen giggled and Keira looked at her surprised. “You think it’s funny?”
“Oh Keira…if you could see your face you would think so…” She laughed a little. Keira smiled too and tapped her sister’s arm lightly.
“At least I made you laugh.”
“It’s not easy now.” Cathleen told her losing the smile on her lips.
“I know you must be feeling so bad, you liked him so much.”
Cathleen nodded. “I liked him yes and I know time will heal my heart but what is going to be of me now?”
Keira continued patting her arm in support. “Father said he will find you another man. You’re still young Cathleen and never touched so it’s going to be easy.”
Cathleen shook her head. “Jacob was a good warrior and well seen at father’s eyes! It will be hard to fill his shoes.”
“You are beautiful Cath! I bet there are many men waiting for their opportunity. Soon they will be talking to father and he will make his choice or he will choose one without considering the offers he will receive. Be sure of something, father would never choose recklessly. He will choose a good one because he wants the best for us.”
“Like he has chosen Cahil for you.” Cathleen said.
“Aye!” Keira nodded.
“How is he? Losing his brother must be very hard to him.”
“He wants revenge…” Keira told her. “They were very close it must be so hard to have seen his brother slaughtered in front of his eyes…”
“You are forgetting his parents Keira…”
Keira stayed still for a while. She didn’t remember it happening for she was a baby but Cahil and Jacob had seen their parents being killed in their place. Cahil was ten and Jacob was five years old and since then the king had taken care of them for their father was of his trust. The king had trained them to be excellent warriors and Keira was promised to Cahil ever since.
“I was promised to him when I was just a baby…”
“He loves you Keira only a blind man not to see it.” Cathleen said.
“Cahil has all the reasons in the world to hate the Saxons. They have taken his parents and now his brother but it scares me a little the hate and where it’s going to take him.”
“And you are hiding and helping a Saxon…”
“I know…” Keira got up and began to walk in circles. “It is corroding me but at the same time…he is young Cath!”
“He is the enemy.”
“He is human.” Keira argued. “I bet he’s younger than Cahil and just like Cahil he fights for a king, he fights for what he thinks it’s his right. I know they’ve come to this country to conquer us and steal our lands but we don’t know what ideals are sold to them. He is a young man with all his life ahead…I could not just let him die.”
Conversation between sisters went on through the evening and before the sun set they joined the rest of the village for supper. The wind was blowing lazy but it was cold. Both girls adjusted their cloak as they walked to the saloon. It was drizzling which made things more difficult, soon the streets would be soaked in mud. Immediately the king asked his girls to sit by his side and supper went on with a certain joy for keeping Avon theirs and certain sadness for the losses they had suffered. Battles were always rough but the people were used to it. Death was faced lightly and death in battle was a glorious death. Having finished the meal Keira got up and began to pack some food.
“You’re going already?” Egan asked.
“I need to take some food to Cahil father.” She explained.
“Aye!” Egan consented not noticing she was gathering more food than Cahil would eat.
First she went to Cahil. A man was with him but left when she entered the chamber. Cahil was seated on the bed and looked a lot better, he was even laughing.
“I brought you supper.” She said feeling a little awkward. She had never been alone inside a room with him that late at night. It looked like they were already married.
“Sit Keira.” He tapped on a vacant space on the bed. Keira did so for she knew Cahil respected her. “I brought you some bread and dry fish from the river and an apple.”
Cahil watched the joy with which she said so feeling his love bubbling inside of him. Keira had grown up to become so beautiful he couldn’t wait t make her his.
“I am starving.” He said beginning to eat.
No words were exchanged during his meal and after that she began to take a look at his wound. Her remedy had begun to make effect for it didn’t seem so infected.
“Do you want me to make you a fire? It’s a little cold in here. The wind is blowing outside and it’s raining, I think it will be cozier for you to sleep.” She offered in the end.
“I’m not cold Keira.” He said.
“Are you sure?” Cahil nodded. “Then I should be going…” She said not knowing exactly what to do. Staying too long would be incorrect.
“Can I have a kiss before you go?” He asked.
Keira looked into his blue eyes and then sat back on the bed. Her eyes closed and Cahil smiled looking at her. His hand reached her cheek and with his thumb he caressed it. Her skin was so soft he could stay there caressing her forever. With effort he approached her and brought his face close to hers. Keira was breathing heavily expectantly; she felt her heart beating on her throat though he had kissed her before. His nose rubbed on hers, Cahil wanted to enjoy that moment more than the kiss they shared before going to battle. Soon his lips touched hers softly, just like the first time, then another and she responded kissing him back. Cahil then pressed his lips on hers stronger causing her to open her eyes in surprise she then closed them again and tried to follow him but when she felt the tip of his tongue on her lips Keira pulled away.
“I…” She stuttered. “I…I need to go.” Keira left running hearing Cahil calling her but she didn’t stop.
She entered her chamber heaving and Colin curled an eyebrow. “It seems like you have seen a ghost.”
“Shut up.” She hissed promptly. Keira approached him and gave him his food and Colin noticed her rubberized cheeks.
“You have been running…what happened?”
Keira walked away and started to make a fire to warm up her chamber and Colin babbled about how cold he was feeling. She didn’t reply to any of his trials for conversation, it was like he was on a monologue but he seemed not to care.
“Are you finished?” She asked him and he ended up nodding surrendering. “Now turn around.”
“What?” He curled an eyebrow.
“I need to change so turn around.”
Colin did so but his head was killing him with curiosity. He fought not to turn around and look, he even closed his eyes and counted to ten but his manly instinct made his head turn and open his eyes. Keira was with her back turned at him and when her tunic fell on her feet, he controlled himself not to gasp. Her body was slim but curved. Her legs long and muscled and he concluded he had never seen such a beautiful body and deep inside he knew he had never seen beauty like hers. When her nightgown fell down her body he turned over again.
“Good night.” She said then looking at him. “You can look now.”
He turned to her again and his eyes met hers. “Why were you so nervous when you got here?” He asked.
“Private matters.” She simply said. “I better sleep now and you should too.”
“Do you want to talk?” He insisted.
“No.” She said adjusting the pillow under her head.
He could see her figure lighted by the fire she had done. She had her eyes closed and was curled on her own body. She breathed softly, her red hair spread on the bed. Pure perfection delighted his eyes and kept him from sleeping.
“Keira?” He called and her eyes opened.
“I am trying to sleep.”
“When do you think I can join my people?”
“I don’t know…it depends on how fast you heal. How old are you?”
“I am twenty five.” He told her.
“Are you married? Betrothed?” She asked.
“Weird…” She said.
“Why weird?” He asked raising his tone.
“Men your age are usually married, that’s all.”
“What are you implying?”
“Nothing!” She said defensive. “My fiancée is twenty seven…”
“See? He is not married either!”
“He had to wait for me.” She explained.
“I haven’t found anyone that I wanted to spend my life with.” He said. “Marriage is sacred for us…it is expected for life. I want a woman who will be there for me no matter what, that understands me and supports me.”
“It is sacred for us too. The only difference between us is that I can‘t choose.” With that she shut up and he took it she didn’t want to talk more. Colin drank in her last words, it seemed Keira was not happy with her situation, or he could be wrong but her tone had been an unhappy one. He closed his eyes and soon he too fell asleep.