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It had been a deadly hot summer so far. Roskilde Fjord’s waters were surprisingly low, but that did not stop the raiders. The high curled prow stood in stark contrast to the cloud white sails that helped bring the Vikings in.
I’d been unfortunate enough to be down on the beach as the tide helped carry them to shore. The massive ship ran aground with a sickening crunch of sand and stones, giant oars pulling them further up the bank. I was sitting with my back to the sea repairing a large fishing net when they came in, and hadn’t noticed their arrival until the Longship began to run aground. When I turned, I was face to face with the biggest, most terrifying thing I’d ever laid eyes upon, with nowhere to run.
One man stood at the prow, barking orders to the raider clan. His language was not the same as mine, but close enough I could make out most of the words.
‘Tether’ was the first I heard, but ‘weapons’ was what got my attention.
Until that moment I’d been hungered down in a patch of the sparse grass that grows tall along the shoreline, my blond hair splayed upon the sand. As the Vikings gathered their chain mail and donned their weapons, I began to inch away from my hiding spot. I knew I had to get to my village of Rungholt, and I had to do so before the raiders did, or all would be lost.
When I thought that no one was looking I turned and began to sprint towards the wide plain that separated the town from the shore.
“Hey, hey!” someone shouted, “Godfrid, there!”
I chanced a quick look back as a man in full chain mail armor leapt upon his horse and spurred it violently in the ribs. The hulking, muscled beast charged forward, crossing the sands in no time. I tripped as I turned back around, sprawled flat by my own momentum. I was just picking myself back up when the rider was upon me.
“Where you going, missy?” His voice was rough, as if he’d sustained a neck wound at some point, yet filled with mirth. He’d enjoyed running me down.
He grabbed my long plaited hair, wrapping it around his hand like it were rope and hauling me to my feet.
“Pretty girl,” he sneered as he lifted my face to the sun.
I swatted at his hands, but it was to no avail. His massive, solid arms were easily three times what mine were, I had no hope of fighting him off.
“Come to Godfrid,” he chuckled, hauling me atop the impossibly large horse, one hand gripping my skinny arm, the other still wrapped in my hair. He set me on the horses back facing him, far too close for my own comfort. Godfrid lifted my chin so I would peer into his whiskey-colored eyes, searching my own.
I spat at him, and was satisfied to see it hit his cheek. Godfrid swiped the back of his palm across the spittle, grinned like a fool, kissed me hard, then backhanded me with such force I saw stars.
The raider spurred the great horse and spun in a tight circle before racing back towards the ship. I had no choice but to wrap Escort Beylikdüzü my arms around his barrel chest, my face against the chain mail, lest I fall from the beast. This seemed to amuse him greatly.
The Vikings, now fully armed, hooted and cat-called upon his triumphant return.
“Won’t be lonely tonight, eh Haraldsson?” one of the cajoled.
The majority of the men were now upon the backs of their own steeds, brandishing long swords, shields, and axes. They’d already had a bonfire built and lit, and several were carrying flaming torches. Rungholt was doomed.
I began to panic. “Spare it, please.”
“She speaks!” Godfrid roared, and his Viking horde erupted in laughter.
I was undeterred. “I beg of you, spare Rungholt. Take the whole of Nordfriesland, but spare this town.”
“Why should I?” he mused.
I was at a loss.
“I will stay with you…” I tried.
“You will stay regardless.”
“Willingly. I will stay.”
“We are a busy seaport. We trade with many cities and far lands. You will become rich beyond your dreams.” I was pleading now.
“We will take all this land has to offer and be rich anyway.” he shrugged. “But I will humor you, little one.” He stroked my cheek with a calloused hand. “Ale! Habel! East and West! Go!”
Two groups of men took off on their horses, following the shoreline on either side of the island. Soon thick black smoke could be seen rising upon the horizon, the burning of towns I could not spare.
Tents were being erected along the banks of the Roskilde Fjord, well-muscled men quickly and efficiently finishing one then moving on to another, while the moored ship bobbed gently in the background. I sat, clinging to Godfrid as he oversaw the proceedings. I realized I hadn’t been captured by a random raider, he was their leader.
The last tent to be erected was the largest of all, and that is where we headed. Godfrid clucked to his horse as she plodded slowly towards the dwelling. A bearded man (though so many of them were fair-haired and bearded) took the reins and tethered them to a large piece of driftwood while my captor dismounted. Godfrid reached up and easily plucked me from the horse’s back. He pulled an apple from a leather satchel on his hip, giving it flat-handed to his charge.
“There Mette, good girl.” He clucked and kissed at the powerful white-and-liver steed before turning back to me.
“Inside,” he ordered.
I did as I was told, and after only a moment he joined me. From outside the tent I heard another group of men depart the camp, leaving us nearly alone.
“What is your name?”
“Doutzen,” my voice seemed so small, though I tried to be brave.
Godfrid began to methodically remove his chain mail, leaving only a woolen shirt and leather trousers. “Doutzen,” he repeated, nodding.
“Eriksdottir,” I expanded.
“Let loose your Beylikdüzü Escort Bayan hair,” he told me.
I stood silent a moment, staring at the broad shouldered man before me, knowing what he was asking. I did as I was told, running my fingers through the plait to loosen it. My sandy blond hair, when flowing freely, nearly reached my knees. Godfrid stepped forward, pulling a leather thong from his own hair, golden waves falling to his shoulders. He then gently gathered mine up in his huge hands, folding it within itself and securing it at my nape with the leather cord. He seemed satisfied with this.
He reached down to the hem of his thin woolen shirt, pulling it above his head and off in one fell swoop. He was the biggest man I’d ever seen, wide and heavily muscled, chest and torso riddled with scars.
“Touch me,” he said softly. He’d actually asked, it was not an order.
I brought my long thin fingers up to a deep, puckered scar running the length of his left bicep. He inhaled deeply as my fingers met his flesh, bringing the whole of my palm against his skin.
“A sword wound from battle,” he said to me, as I silently brought my head up to gaze upon his face. He was watching me intently. I blushed slightly then went back to his torso. My left hand rested upon a two-inch round scar, bright pink against his fair colored skin, just on the outside of his muscled stomach.
“Arrow,” he said, simply.
We continued on this way a few more moments, I tracing the myriad of wounds he’d received in his relatively short-lived life. I’d estimated his age to be about thirty summers, compared to my twenty-two.
I won’t say I’d never known a man’s touch. I’d been married and widowed long before Godfrid arrived, but when he put his hands upon me, it was as if I’d never known a man before.
He brought his hands up to the back of my dress, removing my tunic and letting it fall to the floor. The plain linen dress I wore underneath was the only thing separating me from the naked touch of his hand. It did not stay on long. Once I was completely nude, but before Godfrid allowed himself to explore my body, he unlaced his leather trousers, sliding them down his muscular legs and on to the floor, amidst the growing pile of discarded clothing. His large phallus sprang forth, and I could not help but stare at him. He grinned like a little boy.
Godfrid pulled my tiny body to his, wrapping his arms around me and kissing me tenderly. I obliged and kissed him back, bringing my arms to his neck and clinging tightly. I had not been with a man since my husband was killed, far too long ago.
A pallet piled high with linens and furs had been laid out in the middle of the room, and he pushed me upon it. one massive hand ran the length of my body, touching every inch of skin, then scooting me squarely beneath him. He lowered himself upon me, guiding his pulsing member within my moist Beylikdüzü Escort folds. I gasped as he brought himself in to the hilt, holding me tightly to him.
This man, who I knew was used to taking what he wanted form a woman and then discarding her, was surprisingly gentle, and made tender love to me the majority of the afternoon. His men came and went, some with screaming women, others obviously marred in battle. The sounds came and after a time disappeared, as Godfrid and I stayed holed up together inside his dwelling.
Days passed in this manner, and I found myself to be relatively satisfied, happy even. I thought my home to be safe, was loved tenderly by a surprisingly gentle man, and wine and mead flowed freely, our nights filled with songs and laughter.
Within a week the raiders were preparing to leave, no doubt all the villages within Nordfriesland burnt to the ground. I tried not to let the reality of that fact settle in.
“Come with me, Doutzen.” Godfrid wasn’t really asking. He was telling me I would go.
I nodded, but could not help one last look upon my village before I left it for good. Several other women from the area were being carted up to the ship, some going willingly, others in chains.
When Godfrid’s back had been turned overseeing the loading of his newly acquired cargo, I climbed the short rise from the shore to the plains to catch a glimpse of Rungholt.
It was gone.
Where the town should have stood was a smoldering pile of rubble and ash. My heart sank within my chest and bile rose in my throat. He’d lied to me, to get me to bed. While he made love to what was probably the first willing woman he’d ever had, he sent his horde to burn the village I’d so dearly loved, the town I’d given him my freedom for.
“Doutzen!” he shouted from below.
I turned, the sight of him making me sick, tears streaming down my cheeks. His face fell as recognition hit. He knew I hated him.
I broke into a run.
I ran as fast as I could, tore across the field towards the ruined harbor town. I ran for everything and everyone I’d ever loved, burned and bleeding in the rubble before me.
Soon, too soon, I heard the horses.
Their thunderous hooves beat hard against the field, suffering in the drought of summer. Sweat ran down my face and into my eyes, but still I pressed on, the beat becoming louder. I did not spare a glance behind me this time, just ran headlong into the ruined town, embers burning the bottoms of my feet as I went.
I could hear Godfrid yelling a warning behind me, but I did not slow.
The hoof beats suddenly stopped, and I was momentarily elated that they had given up the chase; until I felt the searing pain within my chest. I was pitched violently towards the ground from behind, my face grinding into the dirt. My breath was labored, coming in tiny pants, and I suddenly knew I’d been struck down. An arrow protruded from my back; it had torn through one of my lungs.
Footsteps crunched in the soil as I lay laboring to breathe, and someone grabbed the back of my head. Godfrid.
He bent low to kiss my lips once, and then ran his seax knife across my throat in one clean movement, stepping away and mounting Mette as my life’s blood spilled upon the grass.
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