The weight of guilt has fallen, lifted away with the gift of forgiveness. To live in hope and with its strength that one day the only soul she can love will allow himself to risk his heart to her again. She saves herself body and soul for the day should it come that she is reunited with Eoghan. Until then, she will learn and grow in the lessons of life and of those gifts she possesses. She has seen much and lived through more than most can dare to imagine. Having returned to her cottage by the sea, she wanders those often untamed lands she thought she might never again see. Though numerous regrets followed her, it was good to walk a path she chose. She was free at last to seek her own dreams. Her heart still remembered Eoghan...and hoped. So much came between them...so much; hope diminished.
Ruslan let her go; rather he made her go. He was not unkind, but he was discontent. She could provide him with no more children, her purpose, the reason he had claimed her. He could not bear for others to touch her, not since Alex. He and not she was the cause, but it was an excuse to give her what she most needed; her freedom. The white wolf demon that bore some small resemblance to a man had come to love her and he knew she was unhappy, that she needed to belong to herself, that she still loved Eoghan. He gave her the ability to find herself and follow her heart. He let their sons choose who to remain with; they wanted to remain with the pack, both of them, it was the wolf in them. They promised to see Selena again despite this. They loved their mother, she had not failed them. She knew this because they adored her, and had grown into fine men, as lupus sharr nephalim. They would see their mother again.
Selena's home was still there where she left it. It was whelmed in dust and cobwebs, had suffered neglect and the harsh climate of the ocean, but was still sound where it mattered. Her things were right where she had left them. The land was hers and no one had dared claim it while she was gone. The lords residing over those lands were patient and protective of their territory's citizens. Her horse had long since died of old age though, the one Aurelius had not killed, so she was in the market for another. She concentrated on settling back into her home. She looked no further than today. She resolved to take each day, each hour, each moment as it came. Her first visitor on the beach was the King of Eredor, a familiar face she had never met as a king. She knew him only as a man, one who did not age. He always had disguised himself as a common man, and still did. He was friendly; he did not ask for anything from her, never had, just her company. She did not know much about him other than he was pleasant, content, rugged in the face and battle scarred. Lord Ereme called himself Grimwarr, telling her once it meant battle hardened.
A tall figure was approaching it happened, from the
north, making his way in leisurely strides down the beach, sandy-brown hair
tossed around tanned, rugged facial features that might have been a youth's in
his mid-twenties, or an older man in his late thirties. The scars and lines of
burden made it hard to tell. King Ereme was in fact a little over three hundred
years old. His alias, when he disguised himself as a commoner, as he was now to
escape his duties for awhile, was Grimwarr. He was paying Selena his monthly
(sometimes weekly) visit. How often he came when she was at home depended on how
busy he was. Lately his kingdom was under more pressure. There were threats of
war from one of his neighbors, werewolves from the north, and from one of the
island lords, both of which had attempted to persuade him to see things their
way...To join them, or be conquered by them. So went their allied threat. Ereme
did not scare that easily, and those threatening his kingdom had not the power
yet to defeat his army or his defenses...yet. The threat was very real
regardless. They could gain arms and power. Ereme was an independant. He had
allies in the form of friends, but was not part of the Western Alliance
Coaltion. If he was ever truly in jeopardy he would have little choice but to
appeal to Hawkers' Fort's king to support him.
The man who pretended again to be Grimwarr looked up and quickened his strides as he saw Selena calling for him in a manner he deemed urgent. Light grey eyes leapt on her and glanced the large mass beside her which he could not identify until he closed ground with her. When Grimwarr met his Serphiroth friend (he had no idea that is what Selena had become), he crouched down by the mare, much as what she wanted of him was now apparant to him. He stroked the animal and comforted it in tranquil tones then locked his stormy eyes on his lady friend.
"Go get as many blankets as you can spare and then go back for as much hot water as you can carry. Hurry now," he instructed as one who was accustomed to giving orders. This was the first time he had ever taken charge of something in Selena's presence, other than asking for this or that when he was repairing her roof or sealing cracks in her walls with clay mortar. Hardly a King's work was it? Ereme enjoyed the simplicity and the labor.
When she had gone he removed his rings (all of them valuable and one of them his seal, a flying griffin carrying an oak branch) and stuffed them in the deep pocket of his brown leather pants. He moved around behind the animal and for an interim he pet her hindquarter and continued to purr to the mare in those soft spoken, deep tones of his which were so soothing to the ears. His voice could be as serene as it was arresting when he barked commands. The horse sensed that he was there to help him and did not endanger him with its powerful back legs and hooves. Ereme had lost several friends to a single kick from a spooked horse. Now birthing foals was something he had done quite a few times in his life, but it was not something he enjoyed one little bit. Drawing a deep breath he thrust an arm inside of the mare to see what he could feel. After a short time he gripped a pair of slippery legs and when the mare's next contraction came, he pulled.
It was just as Selena returned that the foal came spilling from its dam. Grimwarr dashed down to the sea, washed off as much of the natal fluid as he could, then came back right away to help spread the blankets over the mare. Grimwarr called after Selena when she hurried off to her sea-side cottage to get some of the hot water she had put on. That she could cook! "Bring a dipper with the water won't you?"
Now while she was off again; Ereme fashioned a funnel out of his dagger's sheath, which he cut the bottom off of, where he cut a wide, pie shaped piece of leather from his jerkin, which he rolled up to make the mouth of the funnel. That he wedged into the sheath he had cut. When Selena came with the two buckets of hot water, his funnel was ready.
"We just have to wait for the water to cool a bit," he said to her with a smile.
Though he was not the handsomest man, he had a very nice smile that was as warm as it was pleasant. He was the sort of man that some would call handsome because he had character, while others would say he was not very attractive at all. Years of worry made him look older than he should, while years of relative contentment shed years off his visage to betray how handsome he could be. Regardless of all that, his nose and lips were wide and full, the bridge of his nose angled somewhat by a characteristic bump, his cheeks were high, and with his eyes were fairly deeply sunken. He had a square face but a rounded jowl and his light brown hair was very thick. Most of the time he was clean shaven but now he had a scruffy bit of beard.
When the water was cooled but still steaming with basking warmth, the king posing as a proletariat fixed his makeshift funnel in the mare's mouth, propping her large head against his legs. Hence he filled the dipper with the warm water and spilled it into the funnel, pouring the warm water down the mare's throat. He repeated this small chore until the mare stopped wheezing and began to revive. The luster in her bicolored eyes returned and as it did, Grimwarr stood and begged Selena to do the same. "Help me get her to her feet. You take her halter." Grimwarr meanwhile stooped, thrust his arms beneath her and heaved, while Selena pulled. The mare came to her feet with amazing energy. All she had needed was some rest and her warmth returned to her to regain her strength. Without that small amount of care, she would have died.
Grimwarr smiled as the foal struggled to stand after its mother as the mare nickered to the newborn colt. He laughed as those spindly legs attempted to lift its body off the ground. "New foals and fawns always look like little besties from another world to me. Those large ears, huge eyes, and long legs! So cute but so strange," he expressed and turned his regard on Selena with a wry grin. "You cannot go a day without finding something to get into, can you, My Lady?" he chuckled and his laughter was as pleasant as his smile. "I wonder what other treasures are scattered hereabouts just waiting for you to uncover. Why, look at all this junk washed up," he mentioned as his gaze swept over the bits and pieces of flotsam. "A ship has surely met the reef out there. The shallow water marker and buoy are far too hard to see in a storm when the swells are high. I wonder if there are any other survivors. We really should have a look around after you stable your new friend." Grimwarr hinted.
Namas king always came on foot to Selena's home, and rarely went much further
south than her place. There was nothing between her home and Hawker's Fort but
two more cottages, and one of them was unoccupied, the other his good servant
and friend Fae resided in when she wanted to get away. Presently she was trying
to hunt down his son who had gone missing four months ago. His son Archaius was
fourteen years old and the only heir to his Kingdom. Lord Ereme was beginning to
lose hope that he would see his only son alive again. The child was headstrong,
had ideas King Corvaan Ereme did not agree with concerning some immortal kinds,
ideas the King hoped to sway his Kingdom's Prince against to make him worthy of
the throne, now he wondered if that chance was lost with his son.