Thursday, 25 April 2013

"To Britain's Shores" - Chapter 8 part 1 - "If Only I Could"

"You want them to do what?" I stared at Ecgwine, who, damn him, was grinning from ear to ear. "They're not going to agree."

"They will if you or Aelfric ask them, Godric." 

I looked between him and that maddeningly smart British woman of his. "This your idea or hers?"

Lavinia ran a hand through raven-dark hair. Smiled that winning, innocent smile she knows I can't resist, damn her. "His."

I sighed. "Let's go talk to Aelfric."

The Young Wolf was leaning against a tree, looking across at the walls of Linnius, where a number of Britons were nervously watching back at us. Without looking round, he asked, "How long do you think, Godric?"

I shrugged. It was early summer, and (unlike the couple of months of rain after the battle when we'd spent the time looking like half-drowned rats) not a bad time to be camped outside the city. "Weeks? Months? Depends on how stubborn that Tribune of theirs is."

He nodded. Then looked round, took in the three of us. "Ecgwine. Lavinia." A pause. "You wanted something." Not a question.

I sighed, and let Ecgwine explain.

And so it was that every damn morning, for the rest of the summer, every man of us spent half an hour running up the nearest hill out of sight of the Saxons, fully dressed for battle. For the first week or so, I would have been ready to make a deal with the Christian God to get out of it. Or kill the brat and his woman, smile or no, if I could have lifted a finger to by the end of the half hour.

By the time I could do it without feeling like my lungs were going to explode, I think we'd all figured out that, damn him, he had a point.

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